Con­grat­u­la­tions to Paddon

Hyundai star took his Ar­gen­tinian chance with great aplomb

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene -

That dom­i­nant fi­nal Rally Ar­gentina stage vic­tory for Hay­den Paddon did more than just se­cure the like­able Kiwi his first World Rally Cham­pi­onship suc­cess. It helped give it cred­i­bil­ity.

While hav­ing the cham­pi­onship leader sweep­ing the road for two days (or the Se­bastien Ogier Clause as we like to call it) might make ral­lies more un­pre­dictable and en­ter­tain­ing, it’s not ex­actly pure sport. It’s un­fash­ion­able to say the best car-driver com­bi­na­tion should win, but that doesn’t make it any less true, par­tic­u­larly at the sport’s high­est lev­els.

For­tu­nately, Paddon’s stun­ning fi­nal ef­fort – when it looked as though Ogier was about to pull off an­other mir­a­cle win – showed real class and meant he beat Ogier fair and square. Or at least he did when it re­ally mat­tered.

Paddon has be­come some­thing of a favourite in the MN of­fice, not least for his ef­forts in a Ford Es­cort Mk2 in his home­land (take a look on Youtube) and it’s great to see him on the top step of the WRC podium. Now he’ll be look­ing to take on Ogier and VW on a more reg­u­lar ba­sis in 2017. Beat­ing the Franco-ger­man al­liance to a world crown will prove much harder, but with Hay­den now a win­ner and a re­vamped Citroen for Kris Meeke, there are some signs we could get a gen­uine bat­tle for hon­ours. Kevin Turner, Edi­tor (Twit­ter: @KRT917)

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