Despite finishing fourth overall in the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally and behind his title rivals last weekend, Geraldine's Hayden Paddon has taken the lead in the New Zealand Rally Championship with one round remaining.
Paddon landed heavily after a jump on the first stage and had to nurse the car through the remaining 10 stages, much of it in 2WD.
Regulations for this year's six-round championship see competitors drop their worst result from the first five events. Paddon and co-driver John Kennard won the first two rounds and were away for the next two, meaning they came into the fifth NZRC round just one point behind Nelson's Ben Hunt in the drivers' championship.
Now, with the worst round dropped, Paddon has 100 points in the Goldstar drivers' series, ahead of Masterton's Richard Mason with 95 and Hunt on 91.
The 2WD class was won by Christchurch's Phil Marston by just 7.5 seconds, while Kaiapoi's Marcus van Klink won the BNT Historic class from Deane Buist and Jeff Judd.
Judd's overall title lead has now been reduced to seven points. Christchurch's Hamish Anderson finished second in the open 2WD class leaving him and co-driver Sarah Brennan in a strong position to win the title in their rookie season.
This weekend sees Paddon competing in his third WRC2 event - the Coates Hire Rally Australia, based in Coffs Harbour north of Sydney.
He steps out of his Mitsubishi Evo9 and gets back in his WRC2 Skoda and says they couldn't be more different. The Skoda has less power and weighs less but has more sophisticated suspension with better braking and handling performance.
Toughest offroad race in Taupo
Central North Island sees the 2013 ENZED Taupo 1000 International Offroad Race this weekend.
This will be the biggest in the 21-year history of the event with 125 entries confirmed.
Christchurch teams competing include Bryan Chang (GT Radial Ford Falcon Turbo) who has competed in every event; Brett Granger (VW Baja) who first competed in Taupo in 1992 and Reece Trotter (Polaris RZ-R) who was second in the UTV class in 2011.
The race runs every two years and tests drivers and pit teams with a punishing task: completing the distance of Australia's legendary Bathurst 1000 without ever driving on tarmac.
Blossom Festival success for teenage karters
Christchurch teenage karters Scott Manson and Caleb Cross won their individual classes at the KartSport Hawke's Bay club's annual Blossom meeting at Hasting's Chemz Raceway last weekend.
Manson and Cambridge driver Andy Schofield ended up tied on points after two days racing in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class. However, the win went to Manson on count back with Schofield second. Cross won the Junior 100cc Yamaha class.
Top NZ V8 drivers head to Sandown
A large contingent of Kiwi drivers will be competing in the first of three endurance rounds of the Australian V8 Supercar Series.
The Wilson Security Sandown 500 takes place in Victoria this weekend. Joining regular V8SC drivers Fabian Coulthard, Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen are Jonny Reid, Craig Baird, Greg Murphy, John McIntyre, Chris Pither, Daniel Gaunt and Matt Halliday.
Benjamin Carrell is the online editor of nzmotorracing.co.nz
- © Fairfax NZ News
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