It was a result that wasn’t in doubt from the get-go, Hayden Paddon dominating the WRC2 field to take honours at Rally New Zealand.
A total run time of over 17 stages was enough to put 2:30 on second-placed getter Kajetan Kajetanowicz over three full days of racing.
Paddon took the lead on Thursday’s Super Special Stage at the Auckland Domain and never looked back, building on his lead throughout the rally.
So dominating was the performance, Paddon and co-driver John Kennard claiming 13 of the 17 stages to Kajetanowicz’s two, Australian Rally champion Harry Bates also taking two stages.
Shane van Gisbergen rounded out the WRC2 podium a week before taking part in the Bathurst 1000, demonstrating his skillset is not just limited to the track.
The difficulties faced by the drivers in the WRC also saw the trio, and Bates, claiming WRC points as they finished in the overall top 10.
Paddon was the best of the Kiwis in sixth, whilst van Gisbergen was ninth overall.
In the WRC, Kalle Rovanpera became the youngest-ever World Rally Champion the day after his 22nd birthday, overall honours in Rally New Zealand helping him achieve the feat.
Heading in to the final day with a 29 second lead, Rovanpera only needed a clean days running to all but wrap up the title, which he managed to do so.
The Finn also claimed maximum bonus points after winning the power stage to conclude the rally, further stamping his authority over the field as he claimed the 2022 crown with two rounds to go, in Spain and Japan.