2016 Rally Argentina winner Hayden Paddon couldn’t believe that he and John Kennard had managed to take the win, despite giving everything they had in the closing stages of the rally.
“I can’t believe it! I really didn’t think we were going to be able to hang on.” Paddon commented. “It all came down to the Power Stage and we pushed really hard. It was particularly special to pull out that performance on El Condor.”
Paddon added that he and Kennard had put in extra preparation for the stage, which ultimately paid off for the pair. “We’ve worked a lot on that stage because I’ve not been particularly strong on the tight and twisty stages. We drove the wheels off the car. It’s a lot to take in at the moment. It’s a fantastic result for me, John and the whole team.”
While the victory was a first for Paddon it was also a first for a New Zealander and also the first for the New Generation i20 WRC.
“A huge amount of work has gone into the New Generation i20 WRC. I knew from the first test that we could win with it. I just didn’t quite expect it to be so soon. Everyone in the team, at the rallies and at Alzenau, thoroughly deserves this result. I am sure it’s the start of a lot more to come! I am thankful for everyone who has supported us back home in NZ and for all the positive messages we’ve received this weekend.”
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Michel Nandan added, “This is a rally weekend that we will never forget! Hayden has put in the performance of his career to take one of the most popular victories we’ve seen in WRC in recent times. His pace and commitment in the Power Stage was impressive; he and John both deserve this win.
“It’s fantastic for all of us at Hyundai Motorsport. It is our second win in WRC but the first with our New Generation i20 WRC in only its fourth event. We’ve worked so hard on this car so to see the fruit of our work is very special. All our drivers and team members can share in this moment.”