Kiwi rally star Hayden Paddon raced to his second Ben Nevis Station Golden 1200 Hillclimb title at Bannockburn at the weekend.
Driving the Paddon Rallysport-run Hyundai i20 AP4 car, Paddon delivered a superb final run of 2min 6.1sec, taking four seconds off his best time over the same stretch of road at the inaugural Golden 1200 in 2020.
Paddon’s combined time of 4min 14.3sec at the weekend earned him the hillclimb victory.
Taking the other two top podium positions for the weekend were two competitors driving nimble, high-powered Semog Crosscars – Christchurch’s Matt Penrose and Cromwell’s Ari Pettigrew.
Paddon said he was happy with his performance.
“I had six clean runs across the two days and was able to take quite a bit of time off our best time from two years ago. I was pleased to put together a nice, clean run on the last one.”
“I’m really happy for the team and big thanks to them for a car that ran faultlessly all weekend.”
Paddon and his Paddon Rallysport staff play a big role in running and promoting the event which was able to run in MotorSport New Zealand’s back-in-motion guidelines during these Covid-19 impacted times. Competitors are required to stay in groups of limited numbers and no spectators.
Paddon paid credit to Roger Laird and other members of the Eastern Southland Car Club for the on-the-ground event organisation which attracted more than 70 competitors to line up for the unique hillclimb.
Second-placed Penrose was happy to get a combined time to finish ahead of Pettigrew and win the Crosscar class.
“I just wanted to get a good solid run in for the last one. Overall it’s been an awesome weekend and it’s an awesome event.”
Third-placed Pettigrew, who put in a blistering final run with a time of 2min 16secs, says the road was fun and challenging in a Crosscar.
The two days of great hillclimb action were enjoyed by thousands of motorsport fans around New Zealand and the world thanks to livestreaming from the event.
This year, the hillclimb course was shortened to 3.6km, rather than the original 6km course first run in 2020.