HAYDEN PADDON NABS HIS FIRSTEVER RALLY COROMANDEL WIN
While it might be better known for its long white-sand beaches and promiscuous New Year’s celebrations, for rally drivers, the Coromandel Peninsula is home to some of the country’s most challenging rally stages. It’s the perfect backdrop for the Goldrush Rally of Coromandel, this year sponsored by Hyundai, Round 5 of the national championship, covering 114km over eight special stages (SSs) based in and around Whitianga. Starting off by navigating the road from Colville to Kennedy Bay for SS1 at the top of the Coromandel, before touring south to do SS2 through the well-known 309 Road, then on to the Tapu Coroglen Road for SS3, the cars then returned to Kennedy Bay for SS4 and completed the loop again, finishing off in the Whitianga township for the Super Special stage — SS8.
Coming into the penultimate round of the national rally championship, the overall results had World Rally Championship (WRC) driver Hayden Paddon in the lead on 118 points, Josh Marston on 85 points, and Ben Hunt trailing just five points after. Behind Paddon, it was a close race for the minor championship standings heading into the rally. With the overnight downpour soaking the tight, winding roads, which would remain that way for the duration with sporadic showers during the stages, it would really test the drivers’ resolve.
First on the road for SS1 was Hayden Paddon and his co-driver Malcolm Peden, who were in the Paddon Rallysport Hyundai i20 AP4. With Paddon determined to make this his first Rally of Coromandel win, he made a blistering start, running the stage 44 seconds faster than second-placed Brendan Reeves, who was driving a Mazda 2 AP4 with Rhianon Gelsomino reading the notes. Greg Murphy, in the number 51 Holden Barina AP4, was an early casualty of SS1 when the right rear driveshaft popped out. Murphy wasn’t alone, however, with 19 other retirements during the day.
Murphy wasn’t alone, however, with 19 other retirements during the day
The Paddon/Peden pairing also diced with this fate throughout the rally, winning only five of the eight stages while dealing with an intercooler pipe continuously blowing off. This allowed Ben Hunt and Tony Rawstorn to sniff victory in the larger Subaru WRX STi; however, in the end, they finished 18 seconds behind Paddon and Peden, with the Audi S1 AP4 of Dylan Turner and co-driver Malcolm Read finishing another 33 seconds behind Hunt. The win ensured that Paddon — who had skipped Round 4 due to WRC commitments — would wrap up his fourth national championship with one round remaining, while Ben Hunt was able to leapfrog Josh Marston to secure second place heading into the final round.
In the other categories, the championships were also decided, with local boys the Mo Bros (aka Matt Adams and Carol Listen) taking out the Stadium Finance Group A Rally Challenge in the Galant VR4. Young guns Dylan Thompson and co-driver Amy Hudson secured the Category 2 2WD Championship and the overall 2WD Championship, both for the second consecutive year. They will be a pairing to look out for in years to come.
Finishing off a successful day was the running of SS8, which is a spectator stage through Whitianga township on Joan Gaskell Drive. At just 1km in length, it was an opportunity to showcase the cars to those who weren’t able to make the journey into the surrounding hills. It was also used as a chance to let off some steam, with a few doughnuts, as well as some ‘hot laps’ for sponsors and the like. The new Hyundai i30 N was also brought out for some tyre smoking by Hyundai ambassador and WRC man Hayden Paddon.
The final round of the championship will take place on the roads around Raglan, including along the world-famous Whaanga Coast, on 13 October.
NZ Performance Car : Hey, Brendon. We understand that you’ve owned this Altezza for some time now. What made you buy it in the first place?
Brendon: Hi, NZPC. I had always wanted a manual rear-wheel-drive car since my first car, and, after looking around, there wasn’t much that I could get insurance for while being 18. It basically had to be non turbo, which meant an Altezza or S2000 for the most powerful naturally aspirated two-litre range. I’m more of a Toyota lover than a Honda lover, and liked the idea of the extra doors to cram in five people when necessary. This one ticked all the boxes: facelift model, TRD kit with the Neo V2 front bumper, six-speed, low kilometres, and factory LSD!
Hard not to then! What sparked the first turbo install?
After attending a couple of track days at Taupo, the power bug hit, and I wanted more, especially after getting a few rides in other Altezzas fitted with GReddy turbo kits. I sourced a second-hand GReddy kit that had done little driving time, with a genuine GReddy front-mount intercooler, and chucked it in the car. Lin at CDM [Concept Dynamic Motorsports] in Tauranga did the tuning, where it made 150kW at the rears on an e-Manage Ultimate ECU, but with constant fuelling and stall issues, as well as bogging down on boost, caused by the ECU. I opted to fit a new Link G4+ plug-in when they first came out, straight away making 172kW on 10psi. That was enough power for the next three–four years of learning to drive properly.
But that’s not the kit you’re running now; why the change?
More power, of course! I did some drag racing at Meremere and managed a 14.21[s] but was still getting blown away by the faster, more powerful cars, so I wanted to chase a bit more power. I was already planning on building a forged motor on the side and decided that it might as well get a new hot-side fitted at the same time. While the forged motor was being built by Glendene Engine Reconditioners [GER] — which did all the machine work and fitted the crank, CP Pistons, and Eagle rods in the bottom end, and assembled the head with the new Ferrea stainless valves and Kelford springs — Jon at Strange Workshop was able to work on the new hot-side. He sourced the HX35 and Sinco manifold and proceeded to carry out all the fab work to make it fit.
Was there a big difference in response and power?
Definitely. Back at CDM for a fresh tune with the new set-up, I was blown away! The car made 286kW on 13psi (low boost) and 302kW on 16psi (high boost).
So, with this new set-up, what kind of driving does it see regularly?
It’s mainly a weekend car that does beach runs, long drives, and track days. Every time the car gets out of the garage, it’s driven hard to make use of all the work that’s gone into it. The Cusco 1.5-way LSD really helps to put the power down, no matter how you’re driving it, and shoots it out the corners something wild.
And is there anything else you want to do in future?
Just a couple of gremlins to sort over the next few months: getting the cold start and cruising load zones tuned in properly. Maybe one day I’ll look at a set of Kelford or Toda cams that retain the dual VVTi, and possibly a bigger fuel system to make use of the turbo set-up.
A build is never really done, huh? Thanks for sharing it with us, Brendon.
ENGINE: Toyota 3S-GE Beams, 1998cc, four-cylinder; CP Pistons .5mm oversized 9.0:1 pistons, Eagle forged rods, ACL Race Series bearings, ARP main studs, ARP head studs, OEM replacement head gasket, Kelford valve springs, Ferrea .5mm oversized intake and exhaust steel valves, GReddy extended and baffled sump, Holset HX35 Super, Sinco top-mount ceramiccoated manifold, Turbosmart Compgate 40 wastegate, three-inch exhaust, Adrenalin R resonator, Adrenalin R cannon muffler, GReddy front-mount intercooler, Hypertune 77mm throttle body, Turbosmart fuelpressure regulator, Turbosmart Raceport BOV, Injector Dynamics 1050cc fuel injectors, oil cooler, power-steering cooler, Link G4+ plug-in, Link boost solenoid DRIVELINE: J160 six-speed, TRD short shifter, Laile Beatrush shifter bush, custom six-puck sprung clutch, Manon Racing Products (MRP) 2000-pound (907kg) pressure plate, Cusco 1.5-way RS 4.3:1 LSD, Wilwood four-pot front calipers, Toyota Supra DBA 330mm slotted front rotors, EBC Yellow Stuff front pads, Znoelli DDS rear rotors, Znoelli SP500 rear pads INTERIOR: TRD triple-gauge dash pod, boost-pressure, oil-temperature, and watertemperature gauges; Innovate MTX-L wideband gauge; Bride seat rails; Bride replica seats; Ultra Racing room bar; TRD gear-shifter knob EXTERIOR: TRD facelift body kit, Neo V2 front bumper, factory high-intensity-discharge (HID) lights, HIC rear-window spoiler, smoked indicators WHEELS/TYRES: (F) 18x8.5inch Work D9R, 225/40R18 Falken ZE912, (R) 18x9.5-inch Work D9R, 235/40R18 Falken ZE912 SUSPENSION: BC Gold coilovers; Ultra Racing front, mid, and rear underbody braces; Hardrace rear adjustable toe arms; Hardrace adjustable rear camber arms; Cusco front and rear strut braces; Cusco boot brace POWER: 302kW TORQUE: 460Nm BOOST: 15.8psi FUEL TYPE: BP98 TUNER: Lin at CDM THANKS: Lin at CDM, for the tuning; Jon at Strange Workshop, for all the custom fabrication and extremely fiddly jobs; and my fiancée, Frances, for supporting me all the way to get it finished