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Paddon has maximum points after claiming victory by over 4min in his Hyundai i20AP4 at the South Canterbury Rally on Saturday.
Alongside stand-in co-driver Jared Hudson, who became the youngest round winner in NZRC history, Paddon led home Ben Hunt (Skoda Fabia R5), who had to work hard on the final two stages after his buffer was erased with a puncture on stage seven.
Hunt did enough to hold off Matt Summerfield (Mitsubishi Mirage AP4) and Ari Pettigrew (Holden Barina AP4) to give his title chances a significant boost.
Summerfield was awarded the drive of the rally after his first podium finish of the season, while Pettigrew kept his title chances alive with a second successive podium.
Phil Campbell drove a sensible rally to secure fifth in the ord Fiesta AP4, which keeps him well in the championship battle, while Jack Hawkeswood grabbed sixth in the Toyota Yaris AP4.
Marcus van Klink celebrated his return to the championship by claiming first overall 2WD in his Mazda RX8, while Jeff Ward (Subaru Impreza) was the Rally Challenge 4WD winner. Ward led home Sean Haggerty (Subaru) and Paul Cross (Subaru) in the class.
Jordan Grant snared a break-through class win in the Group N 2WD category and secured an impressive second overall 2WD result as well in his Suzuki Swift.
Charlie Evans (Honda Civic) edged Dylan Thomson (Ford Fiesta) in the battle for second in the 2WD.
Jonty Brenssell was third overall 2WD and claimed a comfortable win in the Rally Challenge 2WD class.
John Silcock was the sole finisher in the Historic 2WD class after championship rivals Anthony Jones and Shane Murland suffered problems early in the day.
The championship heads back to the North Island next month with Rally Hawke’s Bay.
-- Staff Reporter