Friday | 15 Jul 2016

Mid-season moments: Part 2

Before the second half of the season kicks off at Neste Rally Finland [28 - 31 July] we are asking for your help to rate our top five moments of the year so far.

Over the coming days we'll bring you our five nominees and next week you'll have the chance to vote for your favourite.

On Thursday we introduced our first nominee: Sébastien Ogier's third consecutive win at Rallye Monte-Carlo. Today we rewind to April for the second moment on our shortlist.

Mid-season moment 2: Paddon's maiden WRC win

Hayden Paddon scored his first WRC victory at April's YPF Rally Argentina after fighting off world champion Sébastien Ogier in a thrilling finale to a scintillating last day duel.

The pair were separated by just 2.6sec ahead of the final legendary El Condor speed test, but Paddon stunned the Frenchman to hurtle down the rock-strewn mountain almost 12sec faster and secure a 14.3sec winning margin in his Hyundai i20.

He became the first New Zealand driver to win a WRC round in the championship’s 43-year history and crushed Volkswagen’s ambitions of securing an unprecedented 13 consecutive victories.

Paddon started the final leg with a 29.8sec advantage, but lost valuable seconds in the opening stage with a gearbox glitch before Ogier threw caution to the wind in the penultimate stage, eating into Paddon’s lead to set up a dramatic ending.

“I really didn’t think I stood a chance before the last stage after losing time,” said Paddon, who celebrated his 29th birthday the day before the start. “I gave that last stage everything I had. Tight and twisty roads like El Condor aren’t my strength but I drove the stage of my life.”


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