New Zealand racing drivers star on world motorsport stage
New Zealand racing drivers have come first and second in the Le Mans 24 hours, and second in a World Rally Championship event.
KIWIS EARL BAMBER (pictured below: Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber and Nico Hülkenberg) and Brendon Hartley have done the nation proud at the LeMans 24 hour race, co-driving the first and second place Porsches across the line. Meanwhile, countryman Hayden Paddon’s podium spot was a fitting end to the rally he had starred in throughout, finishing second in the Rally Italia Sardegna in his Hyundai 120, just one year on from his debut with the Korean factory squad.
On his way to second overall, Paddon claimed four stage wins. The Kiwi, alongside co-driver John Kennard, led the rally from the start of Friday’s action and only relinquished that lead on Saturday afternoon’s loop to the regining world champion, Sebastian Ogier.
Paddon commented: “To finish on the podium is an absolutely amazing feeling. Words can’t really do justice to how I’m feeling right now. ”
Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “What a weekend! We have experienced the full range of highs and lows but we leave Rally Italia Sardegna with a truly amazing double podium.”
Overall Final Classification: WRC Rally Italia
1 S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 4:25:54.3
2 H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +3:05.4
3 T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +4:22.5
4 E. Evans / D. Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:34.8
5 M. Østberg / J. Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC) +7:50.1
6 J.M Latvala / M. Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +8:06.7
7 Y. Protasov / P.Cherepin (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +14:57.7
8 P. Andreucci / A. Andreussi (Peugeot 208 T16) +15:03.3
9 J. Kopecky / P. Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5) +17:41.7
K. Al Qassimi / C. Patterson (Citroën DS