The second round of the 2019 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), today’s eight special stage tests were held north of New Zealand’s host city Whangarei. Fine calm weather showcased the region to the international audience following the multi-national field.
“It is good to be nearly three minutes up after the driveshaft problem that lost us nearly a minute earlier in the day,” said Paddon.
“Samantha has been doing a really good job and we’ve been able to get a few stage records – so all the boxes have been ticked. The road conditions are very good – hard dry and fast.”
“It has been a steady day for us – with a few teething issues between stages that kept us busy. We had a target to stay within a second/kilometre of Hayden and we’ve been keeping that,” said Holder.
A total of 39 finished the leg, that started on Friday evening with a double-run of the Pohe Island Super Special Stage. Those that didn’t complete the day include US based Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino in the Ford Escort Cosworth, Dunedin’s Emma Gilmour and Ben Searcy (Suzuki Swift Maxi) and Ireland’s Frank and Lauren Kelly (Ford Escort MKII).
ENEOS International Rally of Whangarei – Leg 1 Results (Provisional)
1. Hayden Paddon / Samantha Gray, Hyundai i20 AP4, 30:03.3
2. David Holder / Jason Farmer, Holden Barina, +02:48.9
3. Ben Hunt / Tony Rawstorn, Subaru WRX Sti, +2:53.9
4. Stephen Barker / Chris MacIver, Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9, +3:00.3
5. Josh Marston / Andrew Graves, Holden Barina AP4, +3:45.8
9. Andrew Hawkeswood / Jeff Cress, Mazda 2 AP4, +6:37.0
11. Mike Young / Malcolm Read, Toyota Yaris AP4, +7:25.9
29. Suguru Kawana / Noriko Takeshita, Toyota Vitz, +16:07.3
Photos: Geoff Ridder