Congratulations to Paddon
Hyundai star took his Argentinian chance with great aplomb
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)