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Mon, 24 Sep 2018 - Cox’s Ashley Forest record still stands despite issue 

It wasn’t exactly the weekend Rotorua’s Sloan Cox hoped for at the Ashley Forest Rallysprint, having been unable to progress past the top 32 competitors, but his record of 54.96 seconds on the 1.7km course couldn’t be beaten by the new winner Alistair McRae.

The 22-23 September event in the Ashley Forest near Rangiora in north Canterbury is run by the Ratec Motorsport Club and attracted Kiwi WRC driver Hayden Paddon and Scottish rally star Alister McRae to take on Cox as the defending Ashley Forest champion.

“It’s never the same, each time we’ve been here. On Saturday we struggled with little problems and there were delays getting the full field of 60 competitors through the first three of four scheduled qualifying runs,” says Cox. “The top few only got two runs on Saturday, so that was a bit frustrating. Added to that, our first run, we hadn’t sealed the car the way we normally do so it filled with dust, and I hit the kill switch accidently so that was pretty much a write-off. Then we had misfiring issues with the spark plugs. We solved that problem and were ready for the next run which didn’t happen.”

Cox was straight on the pace with the delayed third qualifying run which took place on Sunday morning, with a time of 57.42. ‘The car was really good and it felt good to finally be in that time bracket. I knew there was more time in the car. We elected to use the same tyres for the fourth qualifying run, where we set a 56.02 and we knew what we could do to improve.

“Then came the top 32 shoot-out, and our day just turned around for us. From the start line our hydraulic centre diff pump blew, so no 4WD, mostly front-wheel-drive. Close on a corner, the car hit a couple of ruts. It was a good line but not having 4WD, I couldn’t stop the car turning round. Then it stalled before I could turn it round and keep going. In the end I couldn’t make up the time and therefore didn’t make it into top 16 which was disappointing. So, a frustrating weekend. Congratulations to Alister on his win, but I have to say it’s nice to still have the course record.”

Depending on his 2019 plans, Cox is already keen to enter Ashley Forest again next year. “I want to keep trying to lower that record – we know there’s a lot more in the car, but it comes down to weather and road conditions too.”

Cox is considering the idea of entering two cars next year. “Maybe a front-wheel-drive might be on the cards. We could enter two classes, get more seat time on the hill, and knowing more about FWD now it would be cool to go for the 2WD record as well.”

Cox extends his thanks to the Taslo Engineering crew to get his Evo X hillclimb special to the event. “Without my father Steve and Taslo it wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks also to Dave Heerdegen from Dtech; it was great to have him here this year and it made a big difference to the team.”

Cox’s next event is the final RX Academy round on 7 October at Tierps in Sweden, which will mark the last event of his debut season of international competition.

Cox’s 2018 Ashley Forest title campaign is supported by Taslo Engineering, AJ’s Emporium, Driveline Automotive, Signedge, Teng Tools and SI Lodec. Follow the news and action on Facebook: Sloan Cox Motorsport Ltd ENDS/

Mon, 24 Sep 2018 - McRae becomes first international driver to win Ashley Forest Rallysprint 
Australian-based Scotsman Alister McRae won the Ashley Forest Rallysprint, in North Canterbury today, in the 1998 ex-Possum Bourne Vantage Subaru WRC - becoming the first international driver to claim victory in the event’s 35-year history.
The elimination-style nature of the rallysprint, which featured a 55% uphill and 45% downhill 1.7km course, saw McRae go first in the top-two run off. He clocked a 55.35secs time and the large crowd waited with bated breath as his challenger Blenheim’s Neil West charged off up the hill in his mighty Mitsubishi Mirage, with Evo running gear. West, who had his son Jack on-board as co-driver, managed a very credible - but not fast enough to win - time of 56.04secs, which saw the Vantage team and Subaru supporters erupt into celebration cheers.
McRae says he was “over the moon” to take out his fourth victory on New Zealand soil, after claiming the winner’s trophies at the 2015 Race to the Sky, plus the 2016 and 2017 Leadfoot Festivals.

“To get the win again, it’s awesome. It’s great for Speedhub who build the car, for Vantage, for Subaru and for New Zealand because it was in Possum’s car. First foreigner to win - not bad!”
His last crack at at the course was not perfect but it was sufficient for victory.
“The final run, it’s always difficult because you don’t want to make a mistake and I felt that a little bit. We had a really good run to the top but the second-to-last corner coming down, it jumped out of gear, so we dropped a bit but not too much time,” McRae says.
The spectators had been expecting a three-way fight for the win but defending champion Sloan Cox was out early on Sunday when the hydraulic pump failed on his centre diff, causing his Mitsubishi Evo X Hillclimb Special to lose 4WD and spin out on a corner. Getting back up to speed bled out time and he wasn’t quick enough to make it through to the top 16.
Hayden Paddon was fresh from a podium place at WRC Rally Turkey and his Hyundai i20 AP4 ++ had consistently set the fastest times over the two-day event. Devastation struck on the top 8 run when the car’s oil filter popped off and he lost engine power, eventually limping across the finish line.
It meant the pressure was off McRae and co-driver Nick Taylor and the left-hand drive factory Subaru got progressively faster as it whittled through its competition on the top four run-off to gain a place in the top-two final.
Taylor has a close connection to the man whose company bought the Subaru from Prodrive after Bourne’s death in 2003, Vantage principal Craig Vincent. The Auckland-based 22-year-old is Vincent’s daughter Margot’s boyfriend. Selected for his slight build, Taylor was the perfect passenger to lighten the load for the Subaru.
As is always the case for Vincent, who was Bourne’s co-driver for a number of years, it was very special to see the 20-year-old Subaru WRC car still capable of glory.
“It was really quite amazing to come down here for our first time and for Alister’s first look at the hill to come away with the win. It was outstanding. I want to give a big shout out to the team for all the effort they put in and all the support we get from Vantage our team, Speedhub for the car, Pirelli and Subaru. It’s a great effort from everyone,” Vincent says.
The passionate Vantage pit crew team of Paul Hayton, Chris Kitzen, Mike Thompson and Chris Coleman – many of whom worked on this car and with Bourne over 15 years ago, never doubted the result today. They worked efficiently and competently on the Vantage Subaru to ensure the old motorsport adage: To finish first, first you must finish.
The late, great Kiwi rally driver never won this rallysprint in this particular Subaru but Bourne did claim victory in this forestry block event near Rangiora in 1989, 1991 and 2000 in three different Subaru models.
As his last two events in the Vantage Subaru have been held on tarmac, McRae was thrilled to be back driving it in gravel specification, as it bought back fond memories of powering up the Cardrona Valley’s Snow Farm access road to Race to the Sky victory three years ago.
The car was running the same Subaru 2-litre Boxer engine that it uses at Coromandel’s Leadfoot Festival but with smaller brakes to fit the gravel tyre rims. The big difference for this weekend, was the brand-new 2018 WRC suspension.
The challenge for McRae coming to this event for the first time was always going to be lack of knowledge of the tricky rutted, pot-holed course. Before the qualifying runs began on Saturday, he had one recce look at in a convoy, in a road car and he also walked up and down it taking notes.
“Just to see what it was all about. The first run for me is to see the road and get a feel for what the car is doing,” he said on Saturday after laying down a 1min:04:51secs time on his debut attempt.
In between defending his Leadfoot Festival win in February and competing at Ashley Forest Rallysprint, McRae has been doing demonstration runs at international events, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Race Retro in the United Kingdom. Nothing with a stopwatch. Consequently, he spent Saturday getting his head around wrangling the wickedly-powerful Vantage Subaru WRC.
“It’s a seriously-quick car. It takes you a few runs to get used to the speed,” McRae says.
His conundrum was getting all of the 760 horsepower to the ground on the dusty, gravel course that features a hairpin turn at the top of the hill. The 1998 ex-WRC car doesn’t have modern technology like launch control, which would help boost it off the start line that was increasingly bedded down in a deep rut.
The Vantage Subaru does have anti-lag to keep the turbo boosting when McRae’s foot is off the throttle but because it runs a much bigger BorgWarner turbo - than it was built to run back in its WRC days when its maximum output was 350hp - there is sometimes a tiny lag between when he is on and off the throttle.
Regardless of the fact that it is a 20-year-old car, McRae came tantalisingly close to beating the record time of 54.96secs set by Cox last year and he says that it perhaps leaves him with some unfinished business.
“I think the record is there, not to be easily beaten, but I think the potential is there to beat it. It would always be good to come back, so we will see what happens.”
Thu, 20 Sep 2018 - Otago Rally announces two-pass recce for 2019

Next year’s Otago Rally will offer competitors a two-pass reconnaissance for the first time, in a move to reduce the advantage of drivers who have contested the event on many occasions.

The decision is not one that has been made lightly by rally organisers, and is the first of many new features that will ensure that the Otago Rally remains one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most popular events.

“Our competitors are at the heart of what we do, and this initiative has only been taken after considerable consideration of what they want from us,” Rally Manager, Norman Oakley, said.

“We believe it helps develop the sport we love, and will make the Otago Rally even more of an adventure.”

The two-pass recce will be held on Thursday and Friday, April 11 and 12, with the pre-event media day being moved forward to Wednesday afternoon.

The Otago Rally will entail around 140 kilometres of stages on both Saturday and Sunday, providing crews with a challenging start to the 2019 season. The total competitive distance of 280 kilometres will include 200 kilometres on smooth, fast public roads.

“There are a range of reasons that have encouraged the rally committee to trial this initiative,” Oakley adds.

“It gives competitors, and especially local South Island competitors, the opportunity to write their own notes.

“With Rally Whangarei following three weeks later, it gives the opportunity to promote an ‘NZ rallying holiday’ to international competitors, with two rallies, each two-day duration and two-pass recce.

“It also addresses an often-expressed concern from new competitors to Otago (including internationals) who found it challenging to fully commit to their notes with only one pass.

“Not all stages will be repeated, as we are well aware competitors enjoy the wide range of roads that we traditionally run. Stages that are repeated will be high quality roads that will not deteriorate,” Oakley said.

Day 1 of competition will be south of Dunedin and will be recce’d on the Friday, to help anyone only wanting to do the one-day rally option.

Stages will include a long Berwick Forest stage and ever-popular favourites such as Kuri Bush, Whare Flat and Waipori Gorge.

Day 2 will be north of Dunedin, and recce’d on the Thursday, starting at Oamaru with spectator friendly stages, and then heading south to Dunedin.

In keeping with a long-standing practice in New Zealand, organiser’s stage notes will still need to be purchased, but competitors are free to decide to what extent they use them. Further changes to the 2019 Otago Rally will be announced in the coming weeks.

The 2019 Otago Rally receives Major Events funding from Dunedin City Council, and is supported by the Otago Community Trust.

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 - Countdown has begun for second Targa NZ event in the South Island

The countdown has begun for the 2018 Targa New Zealand tarmac motor rally, the annual multi-day marathon event returning to the South Island in late October for only the second time in its 24 year history,

This year the iconic closed road stage event starts in Invercargill on Tuesday October 23 and takes in over 600kms of closed special stages linked by close to 1800km of touring stages through Southland and Otago before a ceremonial finish in Queenstown on Saturday October 27.

The last time the event was held in the South Island was in 2014, and the man behind it, Peter Martin of the Auckland-based Ultimate Rally Group, says that heading south again was a matter of when, not if.

“The people, the roads, the - relative - lack of traffic……since we did our special 20th anniversary event from Christchurch to Queenstown in 2014 the one question that everyone from competitors to volunteers has asked me since is, ‘when are we going back?”

Keen event competitor, and now sponsor, Scott O’Donnell of the Invercargill-based H.W. Richardson group of companies, helped by offering the group’s world-famous BiIl Richardson Transport World and allied facilities in and around Invercargill to host the up to 200 cars expected to start this year’s October event.

Martin says he has also had nothing but positive ‘how can we help?’ responses from Councils and other local authorities throughout the Deep South.

Though entries are still open Martin expects the field to be made up of “over 75 competition cars, probably the same number, give or take, in the (concurrent but non-competitive) Targa Tour, and at least 50 in the new Time Trial we have put together with the Vintage Car Club.”

Favourites to claim their fifth consecutive win in the event are South Auckland pair Glenn Inkster and co-driver Spencer Winn in their AndrewSimms.co.nz Allcomers Class 10 Mitsubishi Evo 8. Though the driver whose record they have to match, circuit-owning entrepreneur Tony Quinn is back with new co-driver Kieran Anstis and a late model Global Security Production 2WD Class 6 Porsche GT3.

Also expected to challenge for the outright lead over the five days are event regulars Leigh Hopper and co-driver Michael Goudie, and fellow Aucklanders Nic de Waal and co-driver Shane Reynolds, in their AndrewSimms.co.nz Allcomers Class 10 Subaru WRX Imprezas. Former event winners Martin Dippie and Jona Grant from Dunedin in a similar Global Security Production 2WD Class 6 Porsche GT3 to Tony Quinn’s will also be gunning for overall victory, as will former Auckland but now Queenstown-based all-rounder Clark Proctor and co-driver Sue O’Neill in Proctor’s AndrewSimms.co.nz Production 4WD Class 9 Nissan GT-R35.

Interest in the H.W. Richardson Classic 2WD class, always a favourite with Targa competitors and aficionados alike, will centre of the battle between category stalwarts and defending ‘classic category’ title holders Mark and Chris Kirk-Burnnand from Wellington in their 1987 E30-model BMW M3 and local gravel rally hero Derek Ayson from Gore and co-driver Gavin McDermott in Ayson’s 2016 Silver Fern Rally-winning 1981 Ford Escort.

The concurrent but non-timed Targa Tour has again attracted a mouth-watering array of late model and classic exotica including no few than 12 Porsches, several Aston Martins and one of the very few Italo-US 1966 Iso Grifo V8 sports coupes – to be driven by Peter Lyttle with Geraldine mate Geoff Brien co-driving - still in active use anywhere in the world.

This is the ‘busy time’ for Peter Martin and his Ultimate Rally Group. A month after the five-day Targa New Zealand tarmac the group is running their biennial – this year eight-day - NZ Silver Fern gravel rally in the North Island. It starts in Hamilton on Saturday November 24 and after overnight stops in New Plymouth, Ohakune, Palmerston North, Havelock North and Gisborne, ends in Rotorua on Saturday December 01.

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - Ashley Forest more unfinished business for Paddon

It’s only 1.7 kilometres of gravel road in a forest near Rangiora in North Canterbury, but the iconic Ashley Forest Rallysprint represents unfinished business for Kiwi rally star Hayden Paddon.

Fresh from securing a hard-fought third place at Rally Turkey on 16 September, Paddon is homeward bound ready to get behind the wheel of his New Zealand-built Hyundai i20 AP4+, especially upgraded to what Paddon calls AP4++ format for the Ashley Forest event.

“Ashley Forest is an event I grew up watching on TV, on repeat many times and seeing Rod Millen break the one-minute barrier for the first time was a memory that stuck,” says Paddon who first attempted the Ratec Motorsport Club-run rallysprint on his 14th birthday. His second attempt in 2011 saw him win the event outright with a time of 57.16 seconds.

“Last year we made a last-minute decision to do the event and we absolutely loved having full freedom to make the car go as fast as we can. Unfortunately, we retired with mechanical issues before the top 32 run-off so of course, we have some unfinished business.”

The Paddon Rallysport crew has been hard at work preparing Paddon’s New Zealand Rally Championship-winning car. “This is not a hillclimb special car, it’s a born rally car that we convert as much as we can. Mike, Jack and the team have been incredibly busy transforming the car into its AP4++ format. This year we have taken everything up a notch from last year – an improved aero package, more refined engine and new Motec engine management system.”

Paddon is looking forward to the level of anticipated competition among the unlimited 4WD class competitors. Among them are Scottish rally star Alistair McRae and last year’s winner Sloan Cox, as well as long-time entrant Trevor Crowe.

“It’s great to have both Alistair and Sloan there,” Paddon says. “They’re both very good drivers with very fast cars. It will make for a great spectacle for the fans and should be a great event. We are giving away about 100bhp and 200kg to both of them, so we certainly have our work cut out, but we hope our suspension package will help bridge some of that gap.”

Setting a record is the highest priority for Paddon this weekend. “And how low we can get that record, but to do that we know we will also try to have to win! It won’t be easy with some very stiff competition.”

Following the 22-23 September running of the Ashley Forest Rallysprint, the Hyundai i20 AP4+ car will go back to its usual specifications for the Hyundai NZ Raglan Rally of the Coast on Saturday 13 October. In between the two New Zealand events, Paddon also contests Wales Rally GB from 4-7 October. Paddon RallySport appreciates the support of their exclusive partners, Hyundai New Zealand, Pak’nSave, Winmax Brake Pads and Z Energy.

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 - Dixon a hero of New Zealand motorsport

Scott Dixon’s fifth IndyCar Series championship adds another layer to his hero status in New Zealand motorsport.

The race driver originally from Manurewa ran a steady, mistake-free race to finish second in the IndyCar season finale, the Grand Prix of Sonoma, to race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay. The result was more than enough to give the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda driver his fifth series championship in an 18-year career.

Dixon moves to second on the all-time championship winners’ list behind seven-time USAC winner AJ Foyt. The 38-year-old’s fifth championship creates a new record for title wins in the IndyCar Series era (1996–present) and he is also third on the all-time win list with 44 career victories to trail only AJ Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52).

“It’s all about the people and I’m the lucky one that gets to take it across the line,” Dixon said after the race. “I can’t thank Emma [Dixon] enough, she’s just been amazing through this whole season. It’s actually the anniversary of her father’s passing today so it’s obviously an emotional time for her and her family. I can’t thank everyone enough. The team, my teammates, everybody involved. This doesn’t come without a lot of hard work. We had a lot of grit and things that could’ve gone wrong.”

“Motorsport participants and fans all over New Zealand are proud to call Scott Dixon our own,” says MotorSport New Zealand CEO Brian Budd.

“We congratulate Scott on his history-making fifth IndyCar Series title – it’s an extraordinary achievement and well-deserved for one of the hardest-working and most talented drivers to come out of New Zealand.” Mr Budd says Dixon has set yet another benchmark for other Kiwi competitors to strive for.

“When it comes to professionalism, race craft and sheer ability, Scott shows he has few equals. He has created an extraordinary career in motorsport and we look forward to seeing him continue his hugely successful partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing next season and future seasons to come.”

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 - Holder and Farmer end Rally Turkey at speed

New Zealanders Dave Holder and Jason Farmer have finished Rally Turkey, their final event of their debut FIA Junior World Rally Championship season, with two stage wins, the honour of being the fastest JWRC crew for Sunday, and a seventh-place finish in their class for the rally.

Of Sunday’s very encouraging results, Holder says: “It was a pretty successful day for us being the fastest JWRC crew for the day and winning the last two stages. Jason and I are really happy with that, but can’t help thinking about what could have been if we hadn’t had the three punctures on Friday – we would have lead and won the rally, but that’s just part of it all!”

The 13-19 September running of Rally Turkey delivered on its promise of rough, rocky stages and high temperatures. It was the last of five brand-new rallies in 2018 for Holder and Farmer – from Mount Maunganui and Hamilton respectively. They went into the event, having trained for the heat and made tweaks to the way they wrote their pace notes – a skill they’ve been working hard on all year.

Holder said Friday was one of the best day’s rallying they’ve had all year, despite three punctures in quick succession. “It was a promising morning, a nice consistent run, and the times were good. They are really, really rough conditions, even on the first pass; it was Russian roulette what was going to be around each corner. It was definitely a matter of dodging the big rocks, but our pace was nice and easy, and thought we managed the car quite well. So we were quite happy to finished sixth in the morning [in a JWRC field of 12] but still in touch in with the leaders.”

Holder’s plan for the afternoon was to navigate around the bigger rocks safely. “In SS5, the first 6km is pretty nice, then there’s about 10km of really rough stuff. The first puncture we changed pretty quickly, then got another one about a kilometre along the road. We pulled over to change that and noticed we had another puncture! So that makes a total of three and only two spares in the car. We couldn’t get back to service with another 40km of stages to go, so had to retire temporarily and cop the time penalties to restart tomorrow.”

They made the most of Saturday’s 130.62km of competition, setting two second-fastest stage times in their class and they were third-fastest on the combined times for Saturday’s six stages.

Of Saturday, Holder said: “We’re really happy with the day, pretty consistent all round. Most importantly we looked after the car really well. We were rewarded with being third fastest for the day and a couple of second fastest stage times this afternoon. These are positive results for us. We know a few of the front guys are still pushing for stage wins so it’s a nice feeling that we’re on the pace where we could be. If we look at the results from today without yesterday’s punctures and having to restart, we’d be leading the rally – that is pretty disappointing but that’s also rallying – there are always some challenges.”

With just four stages on Sunday, the pair wanted to get to the finish safely – which they did while also securing their first class stage wins on a WRC event. “We did have one small incident in SS15,” Holder said. “I say small because a bunch of our competitors had big incidents in the same spot. We touched a bank and rolled on our side, whereas there were a couple of very big crashes from the JWRC boys, so we were fortunate to only lose about 20 seconds and then carry on.

“All in all, one mistake for the event in pretty challenging conditions isn’t bad. I don’t think I’ll drive in stuff like this again in my career, but who knows – but very valuable and positive experience.

“We’re just really thankful for the people who have helped us to get here this year. It’s been pretty tough and a huge learning experience. We’ve got a lot of experience and knowledge to take away from this year and build on for future years. We’re really happy where we finished up, just a shame we couldn’t put it all together like this earlier in the year. Now we focus on next year!”

With his first international season of competition now complete, Holder is already working on plans for 2019.

Holder appreciates the continued support of HWR Group, Farmline Machinery, Amplified Customs, Magnum Compliance Services Ltd, Sheehans Motorsport, Stadium Cars Ltd, Stadium Finance, Monit Rally Computers, Mount Bikes, A little bit sideways, KPMG Tauranga, Cooney Lees Morgan Tauranga, Chicane Racewear, Mt Wheel Alignment, Truck Moves New Zealand, VINZ - Vehicle Inspection NZ, Allied Petroleum, Allied Concrete, Woodnet and Relish Communications.

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 - Finely-judged third for Paddon in Turkey

Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon has secured his first podium finish of the 2018 World Rally Championship season in Turkey. With his British co-driver Seb Marshall, Paddon stuck to their plan of being consistently fast and clean to finish Rally Turkey with a strong result for Hyundai Motorsport and bring home his seventh WRC career podium finish.

The 13-16 September running of Rally Turkey was the first time the current group of WRC crews had competed in Turkey, which last hosted a WRC event in 2010. The event comprised a compact route around the host city of Marmaris in south-west Turkey on the Mediterranean.

Paddon and Marshall started the Turkish event on Thursday evening slightly handicapped by a malfunctioning handbrake in their Hyundai i20 WRC, securing only the 17th equal time on the opening super special stage in the streets of Marmaris.

Expectations of hot, rough and rocky roads were met, particularly during Friday’s six special stages (a repeated loop of three stages). Running 11th on the road, they were second fastest on the rally’s longest stage of 38.1km, one that WRC commentators named the toughest of the season, to jump up the leader-board to fourth.

The incredibly rocky roads challenged all 13 WRC competitors and didn’t provide the slight advantage of clearer lines for those further down the running order that is normally expected. Despite that, Paddon and Marshall continued to set top five and six stage times in a close-fought battle all day. They were sixth on the leader-board by day’s end, just 3.2 seconds off Ott Tanak in fifth place and 35.1 seconds from Hyundai team-mate Thierry Neuville in first – so well within touch of the top three.

Of Friday, Paddon said: “It has been a hard day’s work for pretty much everyone out there today. Some of the roughest conditions I have ever seen! We had a plan from the start, aiming to be sensible, look after the car and keep the driving nice and clean. We didn’t really get an advantage from our road position so we just stuck to our pace notes. The afternoon was even harder, and it is testament to the strength of the cars that they withstood the stages as much as they did. We had a broken damper on the final stage, which didn’t help matters but we’re P6 in an incredibly close fight. Considering the conditions, that’s not a bad start.”

Paddon and Marshall kept their cool in Saturday’s 30+ degree temperatures in a drama-filled day of rallying as Hyundai Motorsport team-mates and other leading WRC crews struggled with broken suspension, drivetrain issues and more. They stuck to a plan of fast and clean, moving from sixth on the leader-board to third throughout the day. While tyre wear was a major issue for the pair, they continued their consistent run with top four and five stage times throughout Saturday’s 130.62 competitive kilometres of six special stages (three repeated stages).

Paddon said of Saturday’s action: “It has been complete mayhem out there today. We have stuck to our plan, and it seems to have paid off. It didn’t quite work out yesterday but this has, at times, felt like a different rally compared to Friday. It’s been much more loose and particularly tough on the tyres. In the afternoon loop, we had to take it a bit steady towards the end because our tyres were practically bald. I have learned my lessons from previous rallies, where we’ve gone out too fast too early and ended up by the side of the road. It can be frustrating when you look at the stage times, but it seems to be a good tactic. I’m happy to be in P3, although sad for my team-mates who were forced to relinquish their respective leads of this rally.”

The pair went into Sunday in a clear third place – behind second-placed Jari-Matti Latvala by 57.4 seconds and ahead of fourth-placed Teemu Suninen by a safe margin of over two minutes. Paddon described the need to preserve his third place with a calm, measured approach as like being in no man’s land.

"It's about playing the long game in this rally. When you're in 'no man's land' it can be really hard because you have to look after the car. It can be really painful but it's what you have to do."

With steady sixth and seventh-fastest stage times, they got to the final special stage – the bonus-points earning power stage – still easily in third, and bought home their best result of 2018 with a safe run through the exciting power stage which ended next to the Marmaris rally service park.

Paddon said: “I am really happy to take our first podium of the season. It has been a very tough rally. We have adopted a particular strategy this weekend that has required us to hold back and be patient. Thankfully that approach has paid off and we have been rewarded with third place – it’s been a while since we’ve been on the podium! It hasn’t been the rally that the team wanted or deserved. I am fully behind them coming back in the final rounds of the season and I am personally looking forward to Wales Rally GB.”

Hyundai Motorsport team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger, who had led the rally on three separate occasions before technical issues on Saturday afternoon, finished in fifth place. Following their retirement on Saturday morning, Thierry Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul re-joined under Rally 2 on Sunday and went on to bank the five important points from the power stage to maintain Neuville’s lead in the WRC drivers’ championship standings.

The 15 points for third place moves Paddon from 13th to 10th in the WRC drivers’ championship.

Paddon’s next event is the Ashley Forest Rallysprint in North Canterbury, New Zealand next weekend, 22-23 September, with his Hyundai i20 AP4++ rally car, before he returns to Europe for the 4-7 October running of Wales Rally GB where he’ll again compete for Hyundai Motorsport.

Paddon and Hayden Paddon RallySport Global (HPRG) Ltd appreciate the support of their exclusive partners, Hyundai New Zealand, Pak’nSave, Winmax Brake Pads and Z Energy.

Recent Results
PosDriverTotal 
1New ZealandAndrew Hawkeswood1:16:43.8
2New ZealandPhil Campbell+3.9
3New ZealandBen Hunt+41.7
4New ZealandStephen Barker+53.4
5New ZealandBrad McFarlane+3:21.0
6New ZealandBrynley Smith+4:53.1
7New ZealandShannon Chambers+4:56.1
8New ZealandBrian Green+5:09.3
9New ZealandMatt Adams+5:31.2
10New ZealandBrendan Oakden+5:53.7
11New ZealandDaniel Walker+6:39.4
12New ZealandPaul Adams+9:37.2
13New ZealandMcCrae Sloper+10:32.8
14New ZealandBrent Taylor+10:52.2
15New ZealandDave Strong+11:05.1
16New ZealandMarty Bertelsen+11:12.1
17New ZealandRodney Langdon+11:23.4
18New ZealandTimothy Hood+12:51.8
19New ZealandDaniel Haines+13:13.9
20New ZealandMichael Rope+14:47.6
21New ZealandCharlie Evans+15:20.1
22New ZealandRay Chubb+16:19.2
23New ZealandDaniel Alexander+16:38.2
24New ZealandTodd Bawden+16:51.6
25New ZealandSimon Bell+17:29.5
26New ZealandAndy Smith+17:59.1
27New ZealandChris Alexander+19:29.6
28New ZealandAmy Keighley+19:42.7
29New ZealandMike Wheatley+20:14.5
30New ZealandDennis Green+27:38.1
PosDriverTotal 
1AustraliaSteve MaGuire36:51.4
2AustraliaKade Barrett+10.7
3AustraliaTim Auty+17.3
4AustraliaBodie Reading+1:08.2
5AustraliaKurt Wylie+1:55.3
6AustraliaNicholas Grave+2:01.7
7AustraliaStephen Turner+2:51.6
8AustraliaPeter Barrett+3:21.8
9AustraliaNathan Roddam+4:18.1
10AustraliaElliot Ritchie+4:26.1
11AustraliaStuart Rattray+5:02.8
12AustraliaMark Kyle+5:07.7
13AustraliaMal Martin+5:21.3
14AustraliaBill Fulton+6:43.4
15AustraliaLeigh Ford+7:18.2
16AustraliaMitch Roberts+8:00.7
17AustraliaRhys Elphinstone+42:38.3
PosDriverTotal 
1New ZealandJosh Marston36:12.1
2New ZealandGaret Thomas+30.8
3New ZealandDavid Quantock+39.9
4New ZealandMichael Tall+53.9
5New ZealandJeff Judd+56.8
6New ZealandDeane Buist+1:51.5
7New ZealandSean Haggarty+2:09.7
8New ZealandMatt Wright+2:19.1
9New ZealandDavid Clearwater+2:22.4
10New ZealandGarry Cliff+2:59.0
11New ZealandMike Sheehan+3:01.1
12New ZealandDave Ollis+3:05.8
13New ZealandDavid Gee+3:06.5
14New ZealandDarryl Campbell+3:12.4
15New ZealandBrendon Hart+3:13.7
16New ZealandRobbie Stokes+3:24.6
17New ZealandWilliam Hawes+3:37.1
18New ZealandRobert McCallum+4:04.4
19New ZealandSteve Cattermole+4:30.1
20New ZealandSheldon Bell+4:32.0
21New ZealandEric Clark+4:32.2
22New ZealandMark Dando+4:36.0
23New ZealandDavid Birkett+4:37.6
24New ZealandMike Baltrop+4:38.7
25New ZealandKen MacDonald+4:41.9
26New ZealandBrent Rawstron+4:49.0
27New ZealandNeville Kidd+4:50.2
28New ZealandNick Marston+4:53.7
29New ZealandMerv Hatcher+4:58.3
30New ZealandRobert McKee+4:59.3
31New ZealandBrian Green+5:02.5
32New ZealandHugh Owen+5:11.6
33New ZealandTim Smith+5:13.8
34New ZealandAdrian Leitch+5:25.9
35New ZealandPhil Walker+5:49.7
36New ZealandShane Mckenzie+5:50.0
37New ZealandChris Herdman+5:51.5
38New ZealandNigel Tyson+5:53.5
39New ZealandAlec Doig+5:55.5
40New ZealandDeborah Kibble+6:31.5
41New ZealandPhillip Lash+6:44.3
42New ZealandEddie Gray+6:44.5
43New ZealandPeter Murch+6:52.2
44New ZealandBrent Miller+6:55.8
45New ZealandRex Ford+7:50.2
46New ZealandJussara Kokshoorn+7:54.4
47New ZealandJonathan Taylor+7:57.6
48New ZealandAlastair McLean+8:06.9
49New ZealandPhil Collins+8:37.4
50New ZealandDaph O'Rourke+10:10.1
51New ZealandGarry Mechen+11:22.5
52New ZealandJay Ritchie+11:35.7
53New ZealandRichard Bateman+11:46.3
54New ZealandSamantha Gray+13:23.3
55New ZealandAndrew Sim+28:36.9
56New ZealandMark MacDonald+30:22.5
2018 Points
PosNamePoints
1BelgiumThierry Neuville177
2EstoniaOtt Tänak168
3FranceSébastien Ogier154
4FinlandEsapekka Lappi88
5FinlandJari-Matti Latvala75
5NorwayAndreas Mikkelsen75
7SpainDani Sordo60
8United KingdomElfyn Evans53
9New ZealandHayden Paddon49
10NorwayMads Ostberg48
11IrelandCraig Breen47
12United KingdomKris Meeke43
13FranceSébastien Loeb15
14FranceBryan Bouffier4
15Czech RepublicJan Kopecký1
PosNamePoints
1New ZealandShane Van Gisbergen3054
2New ZealandScott McLaughlin2999
3AustraliaJamie Whincup2716
4AustraliaCraig Lowndes2487
5AustraliaDavid Reynolds2435
6New ZealandFabian Coulthard2114
7AustraliaRick Kelly2098
8AustraliaChaz Mostert2048
9AustraliaScott Pye1906
10AustraliaTim Slade1862
11AustraliaNick Percat1759
12AustraliaMark Winterbottom1640
13AustraliaGarth Tander1626
14AustraliaJames Courtney1596
15AustraliaWill Davison1567
16AustraliaMichael Caruso1489
17AustraliaCameron Waters1420
18AustraliaAnton de Pasquale1248
19AustraliaLee Holdsworth1023
20AustraliaSimona De Silvesta942
PosNamePoints
1New ZealandHayden Paddon143
2New ZealandBen Hunt107
3New ZealandJosh Marston85
4New ZealandNathan Quinn84
5New ZealandMatt Summerfield83
6New ZealandEmma Gilmour76
7New ZealandRaana Horan69
8New ZealandJohn Silcock55
9New ZealandDylan Thomson52
10New ZealandBrian Green49
11New ZealandJack Williamson45
12New ZealandDylan Turner43
13New ZealandRegan Ross39
14New ZealandBrendan Reeves37
15New ZealandDavid Taylor35
16New ZealandDave Strong25
16New ZealandWayne Pittams25
18New ZealandGraham Featherstone24
19New ZealandAndrew Hawkeswood23
20New ZealandAmy Keighley22
PosNamePoints
1New ZealandJosh Marston160
2New ZealandJeff Judd105
3New ZealandMatt Summerfield103
4New ZealandDavid Quantock100
5New ZealandGaret Thomas93
6New ZealandDeane Buist85
7New ZealandRichard Bateman79
8New ZealandMarcus Van Klink77
9New ZealandMike Sheehan66
10New ZealandJohn Silcock65
10New ZealandGraham Ferguson65
12New ZealandSean Haggarty61
13New ZealandDarren Galbraith58
14New ZealandPhil Collins57
15New ZealandEric Clark55
16New ZealandDavid Gee43
17New ZealandRegan Ross40
17New ZealandDylan Thomson40
19New ZealandGarry Cliff36
19New ZealandJohn Giltrap36
PosNamePoints
1New ZealandGrant Blackberry64
2New ZealandMatt Adams63
3New ZealandBrynley Smith60
4New ZealandDylan Thomson43
5New ZealandSteve Cox40
6New ZealandWayne Pittams36
7New ZealandAmy Keighley31
7New ZealandDaniel Alexander31
9New ZealandWarwick Redfern27
10New ZealandAnthony Jones21
11New ZealandAlex Gilmour18
12New ZealandPaul Fraser14
13New ZealandClinton Cunningham2
PosNamePoints
1New ZealandMark Kirk-Burnnand104
1New ZealandMartin Dippie104
3New ZealandMark McCaughan102
3New ZealandSteven Kirk-Burnnand102
5New ZealandMike Tubbs100
6New ZealandClark Proctor98
7New ZealandIvan Knauf94
7New ZealandCarl Kirk-Burnnand94
9New ZealandRory Callaway92
10AustraliaRobert Darrington90
10New ZealandNic De Waal90
12New ZealandRichard Gillies86
12New ZealandEddie Grooten86
12New ZealandHayden McKenzie86
15New ZealandDavid Rogers84
15New ZealandAndrew Oakley84
17New ZealandSimon Clark82
18New ZealandJoe Kouwenhoven81
19New ZealandIain Atkinson80
20New ZealandJeremy Friar79