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Paddon seeking WRC momentum in Argentina

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/04/2017

Hayden Paddon © Getty Hayden Paddon Hayden Paddon is back at the scene of his breakthrough World Rally Championship victory as he attempts to build momentum into his 2017 campaign.

He and co-driver John Kennard are in Argentina, preparing for this week's fifth round of the championship.

Paddon's highest placing so far this year has been his fifth in Mexico and he sits eighth in the standings.

He says Argentina is one of the toughest events on the calendar and the weather will have a big say in how things pan out.

Looking after his Hyundai i20 Coupe during an event with 19 stages covering 358km and a huge total distance of 1,419km will be key.

"While it would be nice to get the taste of champagne again, we head into this rally after some thorough preparation to push hard," he said.

"We know we can be competitive, but the competition is much closer this year so, as always, we will be giving it a good go."

The four-day rally is based at the lakeside resort of Villa Carlos Paz, 700km north-west of Buenos Aires, and begins on Friday morning (NZT).

Last April, Paddon became the first New Zealand driver to win a WRC round with his victory in Argentina.

"The route has much the same stages as last year, so this gives us confidence as they are stages we enjoy and have good information from," Paddon said.

"After last year's result, naturally it's nice to go back to this event and that success gives us more confidence, particularly on the gravel surface with which I'm most familiar."

Paddon and Kennard go into the rally having both had a break in New Zealand, with Paddon celebrating his 30th birthday last week with family in Wanaka.

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