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Paddon triumphs in Whangarei, successful debut for Clendon

Defending champion Hayden Paddon has cruised to another comprehensive Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship win after blitzing the field at the Mark Cromie Motor Group International Rally of Whangarei.

Paddon took a six-minute and 14-second win in his Hyundai New Zealand i20 to score a second straight maximum points win in 2022.

Ben Hunt finished second for the second straight event in his Skoda New Zealand Fabia R5 while youngster Ari Pettigrew claimed a break-through spot on the podium in his Holden Barina AP4.

Raana Horan finished fourth in the Generator Rental Services Skoda Fabia R5 with Josh Marston fifth in the RDL Holden Barina, Matt Summerfield seventh in the Mitsubishi Mirage AP4 and Phil Campbell eighth in the Roofing Store Ford Fiesta AP4.

Jackson Clendon made a dream debut in his Ford Fiesta Rally4 car, winning overall 2WD and his NZRC 2WD class by 36.9s from Jordan Grant (Suzuki Swift). The two youngsters battled each other all weekend but Clendon prevailed in his first event in the new car. Bryn Jones (Ford Fiesta) completed the NZRC 2WD class.

Anthony Jones (Ford Escort) pipped John Silcock (Mazda RX&) on the final stage to be third overall in 2WD and first in the Historic 2WD class. They led home Shane Murland (Ford Escort) in the class podium.

Dan Haines (Ford Escort) got by Dave Strong (Honda Jazz) on the final stage in the Open 2WD battle – there was just 14.9s in it in the end. Peter Farrell was third in his Mazda RX7.

The championship moves south to Timaru for Rally South Canterbury in June.

Photo Credit: Tayler Burke

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