Paddon spices up Rally of Otago field
New Zealand’s only driver in the World Rally Championship has put in a surprise entry for next month’s DriveSouth Rally of Otago.
Former national champion, Hayden Paddon, will drive a Subaru Impreza WRX STI on the event, just two weeks after contesting the World Championship qualifying Rally of Portugal.
Paddon’s entry into the first round of the New Zealand Rally
Championship has added extra interest to the event, which already boasts
New Zealand’s best rally drivers.
Reigning champion, Dean Sumner, returns to defend his title in his
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, in a battle that could go down to the wire.
Another former champion, Richard Mason, is eager to get the NZRC trophy
back on his mantelpiece, and he heads a trio of Subarus, with Matt
Jansen and local favourite, Emma Gilmour, all driving Imprezas.
Paddon and co-driver, John Kennard, will drive the car that Australian
Cody Crocker drove to the 2009 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship title. It
will be their first entry in a Subaru on home soil.
After a ceremonial start in Dunedin on the Friday evening, April 8, the
DriveSouth Rally of Otago begins with three night-time stages with a
competitive distance of around 50 kilometres.
The rally will continue on Saturday with six daylight stages, including
the popular tarmac super special stage around the streets of central
On Sunday, a further six daylight gravel stages will see a total event competitive distance of approximately 275 kilometres.
Along with the New Zealand Rally Championship, the event also includes
the International Classic Rally of Otago, with former World Champion,
Ari Vatanen, heading the entry list in a Ford Escort RS1800.