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Paddon win a boost for Rally NZ

NZN 25/04/2016

Hayden Paddon's breakthrough victory in Rally Argentina could provide a real boost to New Zealand's chances of regaining a round on the World Rally Championship.

Paddon produced the drive of his life on the final stage of Rally Argentina on Monday (NZT) to become the first New Zealander to claim a WRC victory.

Motorsport NZ president Shane Harris hopes Paddon and co-driver John Kennard's win will add impetus to New Zealand's bid to return to the WRC calendar after an absence of four years.

"I hope the result signals to the WRC organisers that the New Zealand round deserves to be reinstated on the WRC calendar," Harris said.

"This is something I know Hayden, John and tens of thousands of Kiwi rally fans want to happen."

Mechanical problems and fog had threatened to deny Paddon victory in Argentina, series defending champion Sebastien Ogier trimmed his advantage to just 2.6 seconds heading into the final stage.

But Paddon threw his Hyundai i20 around on the El Condor power stage to blitz his rivals by 11.2sec over the testing 16.32km course.

It meant he emerged with a 14.3sec victory to claim the first victory for a New Zealand driver in the 43-year history of the world championship.

Paddon now sits second overall in the WRC drivers' standings after four of 14 events - 39 points behind Ogier.

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