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Hayden Paddon scores an epic win and makes NZ motorsport history

All of us here at Bowater Hyundai are right behind Hayden Paddon on his quest to become a WRC World Champ. When we met him in 2015 for our event at Pro Karts we were collectively so impressed by his entire way of looking at things, so are not surprised to see him making such huge strides in a such a competitive motorsport.
Here is his report on his historic win, in his own words.


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Well I'm sure you are all well aware of the outcome of Rally Argentina, a weekend that I will forever remember! But it doesn't only stand out as it was our first WRC victory, but also because of the fashion of how we won the rally - going to head to head with triple world champion, Sébastien Ogier. It was what I would sum up as a perfect weekend from start to finish – winning Shakedown, winning 5 stages, winning the power stage and of course the outright event by 14 seconds.

Going into the weekend, we were playing down our chances, as the traditionally rough roads and challenging conditions have not been a favorite in the past. However after the pre-event recce, it became clear that 75% of the new stages this year were a lot faster than normal, and with Sunday as an exception, the stages were also smoother.

Adding to this, Shakedown went very well. As we did not test prior to this event (our team mates both did testing in Europe between Mexico and Argentina which we opted to miss in turn for more testing for the European events) – we used the first run to run the same setup as we finished Mexico as a base. After a return to service, we bolted on the new suspension, which had different settings and immediately we went fastest on the second and third runs – the car was feeling and working better.

But even after all this, we remained grounded for the weekend ahead, with the same goal in mind – to have a clean rally and a top 5.

Hyundai announces Special Edition Paddon Santa Fe

Hyundai New Zealand is celebrating Hayden Paddon’s historic nine minute victory at Rally Otago with the announcement of a new Special Edition of its award-winning Santa Fe SUV. Bowater Hyundai has one in the showroom, available now.

special edition santa fe 

Paddon, New Zealand’s most successful rally driver, partnered with his regular navigator John Kennard and drove a new Hyundai New Zealand built i20 rally car to win Rally Otago, giving the AP4 version of the i20 its maiden victory on debut.

Hyundai New Zealand General Manager, Andy Sinclair, said the company had begun planning the Hayden Paddon Special Edition Santa Fe – HP Edition for short – when Paddon re-signed with Hyundai New Zealand as well as with the factory rally team for the coming three seasons in October 2015.

“The Santa Fe Series II was going out to showrooms at the time, and knowing how deep the passion for our SUVs runs with Kiwi motorists, it seemed appropriate to mark the occasion with a Special Edition version. Then when the i20 AP4 project came together and Hayden won Otago by such a huge margin, it made the Santa Fe even more significant,” he said.

Hayden Paddon says there are few better ways to acknowledge the exciting relationship between Hyundai New Zealand and himself.

“The new Santa Fe is an awesome SUV that really suits the Kiwi way of life and this Special Edition version is very cool. Hyundai has been incredibly supportive of us over the past few championship seasons, and now there’s a chance for customers to share in this relationship and maybe even come watch us in action.”

Perfect debut for Paddon with NZ Hyundai at Otago Rally

Hayden Paddon and John Kennard secured their fifth outright victory in the Rally of Otago to create the perfect debut for their brand-new New Zealand-built Hyundai i20 rally car.

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New Zealand's only driver/co-driver combination to compete in the World Rally Championship, Paddon and Kennard are home between international events to launch the first-ever New Zealand-developed Hyundai rally car which is part of a new partnership with Hyundai New Zealand.

Paddon and Kennard, from Geraldine and Blenheim respectively, blitzed the New Zealand Rally Championship field to win the two-day 40th anniversary Otago Rally by 9 minutes, 22.1 seconds from defending NZRC champion Ben Hunt and third-placed David Holder who competes in Paddon's former championship-winning car.

"It was pretty much the perfect debut for the new Hyundai," said Paddon. "If anything, it probably exceeded my expectations. The base of the car is very good. Our team worked very long hours coming up to the rally getting the car ready, and even right up to shakedown we were having problems so they were able to get on top on those right before the start of the rally which was great."

Head deeper into the article for some awesome video.

Get On Board with Bowater Hyundai and Power Off to get your Family Time on!

power off

On the weekend of 19-20 March, Hyundai New Zealand are holding their second Hyundai Power Off / Family On Weekend. The team at Bowater Hyundai are fully behind this and want you to be as well. We're challenging Kiwi families around the region to switch off their electronic devices to spend quality time together.

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Last year, 17,623 Kiwi families disconnected their laptops, gaming consoles, tablets and phones to connect with each other across the land, pledging 650,000 hours of Family Time. This year Hyundai New Zealand are aiming for 25,000 families and 1,000,000 hours. Imagine that. 1 million hours of collective family time. You can help us get there!

Click the button to commit to hitting the ‘Off’ switch with us. Do it now and you'll be in to win your share of $10,000 fuel! If you want to get either Nelson College or Nelson College for Girls in the mix to win $500 worth of sports equipment hold off hitting this button and hit the other one below instead!

Sign up and come by and see Lana and she will give you a cute little badge, so you can let everyone else know that you value #familytime in your family! 

Meet the Bowater Hyundai Team

Its all about the classics for Sean.

2019 hyundai sean 500

Sean joined the team in the early autumn of 2019, and comes with a local automotive industry pedigree stretching back a number of years. He is passionate about cars and customer service, and is very knowledgable in the aftersales space, so look forward to some excellent customer service!

Sean is one of the lucky few to own a Honda s2000. He is very enthusiastic about original state classics, infact his s2000 still has a cassette player in it even though he doesn't have any cassettes - lets see if we can rememdy that!

Come on down and have a chat, bring an old cassette tape, and have a fresh brewed coffee or cup of tea whilst getting your vehicle sorted. 

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