Hayden Paddon has clinched the Pacific Cup in Ballarat, Australia today despite early suspension trouble.
The New Zealander, driving a Hyundai i20 R5, finished third in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship component of the event after being forced to retire from the first heat after the aforementioned suspension trouble.
Paddon hit a hidden rock on the inside of a corner which caused him to retire from the morning's heat one.
He continued on in the afternoon at the sublime pace he showed before the mistake to take the Pacific Cup title.
“Then we had a small issue this morning on SS4 when we touched something in the front corner which broke one of the suspension bolts,” Paddon says.
“It didn’t do a lot of damage but obviously put us out temporarily.
"We got the car back to service for the boys to repair then came out this afternoon wanting to be neat and tidy. We lost close to a minute on the long stage with a spin, other than that, just tried to enjoy ourselves.
“It’s really good to win the FIA Pacific Cup; that was our goal with coming over to do this rally, so mission accomplished.
"It’s ten years since I won this title previously at Whangarei’s APRC event, back in 2009, and it’s really nice to bring the cup home for the team at Hyundai New Zealand.”
Paddon enjoyed the event, saying: “They’re nice stages; each of the four was a bit different, offering some variation. A little rain made it a bit slippery on the second pass this afternoon.”
Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia's Harry and Lewis Bates took a 1-2 result in the event, taking maximum points for their the Pacific Cup hauls.
Elder brother, Harry, won at the APRC round in Tasmania in June, and a win against the might of Paddon today would be more than pleasing.
The Bates boys finished first and third respectively in the Australian Rally Championship, with four-time champion, Simon Evans finishing second.
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