Hayden Paddon (Hyundai) Fends Off Ogier (VW) For First WRC Win
Hyundai Motorsport put in a brilliant final day performance in Argentina to claim their second ever victory in the FIA World Rally Championship.
It was Hayden Paddon and John Kennard who set a blistering pace in the Power Stage that was enough to surge them past Sebastian Ogier to claim the top spot by an impressive 14.3 seconds.
This is another huge step forward for Hyundai Motorsports, who are still relative newcomers to the WRC.
Pair of firsts for Hyundai in the big win
- Hayden Paddon registered his first ever win in the WRC when he took the checkered flag
- New Generation i20 WRC recorded its first win at only the fourth time of asking
The win means that Hyundai Motorsport are off to their best ever start in their short history.
It’s the third podium finish for the team, which now puts them into second place in the Manufacturer’s Championship.
First WRC win for Paddon
Hayden Paddon was both excited and surprised at the final result, as he wasn’t really sure that they were going to be able to hold on for the win.
The performance on El Condor during the Power Stage was magnificent, and really shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise given how hard the team had worked on that stage.
Paddon is the first to admit that his driving style is not particularly suited to the twists and turn that the El Condor circuit throws up, so credit also has to go to the car and its performance.
He said that there had been plenty of testing done with the New Generation i20 WRC, and the whole team knew they were onto a winner.
They just didn’t know that it was going to happen this quickly.
First WRC win for Hyundai Motorsport in 2016
It has been a very good start to the WRC season for Hyundai Motorsport.
This win now goes alongside podium finishes in Monte Carlo and Sweden, as well as a 4th place finish in Mexico.
This win is the first for the team since the 2014 season, and has to be viewed as a sign that the new Hyundai i20 WRC is ready for the big time.
Team Principal Michael Nandan was delighted with the win, and said that it is a weekend that they are never going to forget. He was quick to heap praise on Hayden Paddon for his stunning performance in the Power Stage, and he felt that it was something that was totally deserving of the victory.
He was also delighted at how well the New Generation i20 WRC held up. Nandan was not totally surprised that the vehicle did so well in just its 4th time out, as he spoke about just how much work was done in preparing the i20 for demand of the WRC circuit.
The team is not about to rest on its laurels, though, as they plan on continuing to develop the vehicle, whilst also getting ready for the next race in Portugal.
Next: Rally de Portugal
The Rally de Portugal will be the fifth stop on the WRC tour, and it will be run between May 19-22.
Hyundai Motorsport will be hoping that their strong start to the season continues in Europe.