Paddon and Kennard secure fifth at WRC Germany

Hayden Paddon John Kennard Sunday finish WRC Germany by Timo Anis LR

Hayden Paddon, with co-driver John Kennard, secured fifth place in ADAC Rallye Deutschland to achieve his pre-event goal, but says there’s a lot more to come.

“Obviously to be in the top five is what our goal was going into the rally and it’s a good bank of points, but probably we didn’t achieve it in the way that we wanted to,” said Paddon following the final three of what was meant to be four stages on Sunday (CEST) after organisers had to cancel the penultimate stage due to spectators not staying in the designated areas.

Paddon and Kennard completed Sunday’s special stages with three top six times to secure their third fifth place finish of the 2016 FIA World Championship. Paddon said the stages were generally okay as he tried to work on driving techniques to learn for the upcoming tarmac events in Corsica and Spain.

“Of course we know we have a lot to improve on tarmac especially when the conditions are wet and a bit more changeable [like they have been this weekend in Germany]. This is a time thing; we just need more time on the surface to build up the confidence.

“I think come Corsica, we can be much stronger than what we are here. We know the key areas where we struggled here and these types of stages we don’t get in Corsica.

“We’ve got a lot to look forward to and we’re going to work really hard. I think we can build on this and mount a much stronger challenge up the front.”

Paddon’s fifth place finish moves him into third in the WRC drivers’ championship on 94 points, equal with team-mate Thierry Neuville. Co-driver John Kennard is in the same position on the WRC co-drivers’ championship table, equal with Neuville’s co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul.

“To be back third [equal] in the championship is certainly a good place. We’d like to try and hang on to that for the rest of the year, but it’s going to be a big fight between about four of us, so it’s going to be an exciting last 3-4 rallies of the season.”

With Rally China, which should have been an early September event, cancelled due to flood damage of the rally route, the WRC takes an unexpected break until the Tour de Corse, aka the ‘rally of 10,000 corners’ on the French island of Corsica. Paddon and Kennard finished fifth there on debut in 2015.

Paddon on podium in Poland with Hyundai

Hayden Paddon John Kennard Sunday podium WRC Poland by McKlein Images 2

Hayden Paddon and John Kennard have secured third place at Rally Poland in their new generation Hyundai i20 World Rally Car.

Third place in Poland represents the third podium finish in the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship for the New Zealanders who finished second in Sweden and won outright in Argentina. The result moves Paddon into third place in the WRC drivers’ championship and strengthens Hyundai Motorsport’s second place in the manufacturers’ standings.

“It obviously got pretty close there at the end,” Paddon added referring to Hyundai Motorsport team-mate Thierry Neuville finishing a mere 0.8 seconds behind in fourth. “Our objective today was to secure third position rather than push for second, so we wanted to be relaxed. I think we probably eased off too much. Third is a great result, irrespective of how close it was - just 0.8 seconds!”

“We’re really happy to come home with a podium,” said Paddon who finished just 2.3 seconds behind Ott Tanak.

The seventh WRC round of the year concluded with a wet and slippery morning of action on Sunday, in contrast to the warm, sunny summer conditions of the previous three days.

“They were very, very tricky conditions and it was very hard to judge your speed,” Paddon said, having set the fifth quickest time in all four Sunday stages. “The rain made the stages very slippery and overall today was tricky, having to try and control the position, but in the end we got good points and got the result.

“That’s our first third place and it takes a huge amount of weight off my shoulders after what’s happened recently. The result gives us really good confidence moving forward and I’m really happy to get things back on track.”

“Huge thanks to the team and congratulations to everyone on a job well done. It’s been a good three days of rallying. We’re really looking to Finland now, a rally that suits us more and a rally that we enjoy.”

Paddon’s third place gives Hyundai Motorsport its second-ever Rally Poland podium, following a top-three for Neuville back in 2014. The new generation i20 WRC showed its pace with four stage wins over the weekend. The car has now taken two victories, one second and two third places in seven rallies.

Andy Sinclair, General Manager of Hyundai New Zealand, congratulated Paddon and Kennard for another WRC success. “It’s been an up and down time for our star Kiwi rally drivers, from a history-making victory to the challenges of not finishing, so it’s fantastic to see Hayden and John put together another comprehensive performance to stand on the podium in Poland,” said Sinclair. “We’re joining the hundreds of thousands of Kiwi sports fans who back Hayden and John in saying well done on a great job! The final day of Rally Poland was intense and we’re delighted they could consolidate their fine drive by securing third place overall.”

Paddon and Kennard return to world-class rally competition later this month with the 28-31 July running of Rally Finland, one of Paddon’s favourite rallies due to its incredibly high speeds and similarity to the roads traditionally used for Rally New Zealand.

2016 FIA World Rally Championship, round 7, Rally Poland

Overall Final Classification

1.          A. Mikkelsen / A. Jaeger (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 2:37:34.4

2.          O. Tanak / R. Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +26.2

3.       H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +28.5

4.          T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +29.3

5.          J. M. Latvala / M. Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +33.8

6.          S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +40.3

7.          C. Breen / S. Martin (Citroën DS3 WRC) +2:01.4

8.          M. Østberg / O. Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +3:04.6

9.          E. Camilli / B. Veillas (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:23.1

10.        T. Suninen / M. Markkula (Škoda Fabia R5) +5:53.3


2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings

S. Ogier 143 points / A. Mikkelsen 92 / H. Paddon 72 / J. M. Latvala 68 / D. Sordo 68 / M. Østberg 62 / T. Neuville 61 / O. Tanak 52  / K. Meeke 26 / E. Camilli  24 / H. Solberg 14 / M. Prokop 12 / S. Lefebvre 10 / C. Breen 10 / T. Suninen 8 / E. Evans 6 / M. Ligato 6 / L. Bertelli 4 / P. Tidemand / E. Lappi 2 / N. Fuchs 2 / K. Abbring 2 / A. Kremer 1 / V. Gorban 1 / J. Kopecky 1


2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings

Volkswagen Motorsport 196 points / Hyundai Motorsport 135 / M-Sport World Rally Team 100  / Volkswagen Motorsport II 99 / Hyundai Motorsport N 78 / DMACK World Rally Team 58 / Jipocar Czech National Team 18 / Yazeed Racing 6

Canstar Blue survey awards Hyundai top result

Hyundai Press Release Canstar Blue survey awards Hyundai top result 30062016 1

Consumer research organisation Canstar Blue has named Hyundai New Zealand a 2016 winner of its Most Satisfied Customers award in the automotive category.

In its just-completed customer satisfaction survey for New Cars in New Zealand, Canstar found Hyundai scored a perfect set of five-star results across all seven categories - overall satisfaction, value for money, point of sale, after sale service, reliability, driving experience and performance - putting the company ahead of all other car brands surveyed. It is rare for any brand to score a clean sweep of the customer satisfaction categories.

Hyundai New Zealand General Manager Andy Sinclair is elated at the news and says the result is a testament to the strong relationship between Hyundai New Zealand, its dealer network, staff and most importantly customers.

“We’re very pleased with this award. This is a fantastic result in such a competitive and crowded market and a resounding endorsement of the hard work we put in every day to provide world class customer service across our network of dealers,” he said.

The independent, objective survey is conducted on Canstar’s behalf by Iview (part of Ipsos, a global market leading research organisation) across a representative sample of 2,500 New Zealanders and is based on 780 consumer responses. This was up significantly on response rates in recent years.

“Hyundai New Zealand has performed strongly across all aspects of the survey which is a phenomenal outcome. We are very grateful to all our customers who took part in the survey and to our staff throughout New Zealand for being such excellent ambassadors for the Hyundai brand,” said Mr Sinclair.

Hyundai Press Release Canstar Blue survey awards Hyundai top result 30062016 2

All new Elantra offers Hyundai’s best

Hyundai Press Release All new Elantra offers Hyundais best 06052016 2

The all new Hyundai Elantra evolves the company’s global best-seller, drawing together a comprehensive array of leading technologies designed to work with the driver and enhance the enjoyment, comfort and safety of all occupants.


Hyundai New Zealand General Manager Andy Sinclair says the Elantra, launched this week, offers customers who prefer a sedan a sleek and stylish option that features excellent driving dynamics and refinement.


“Because the Kiwi lifestyle is so diverse, we tend to use our vehicles in many more ways – so it’s always been important for us to offer the full range of cars and SUVs. The Elantra is an exciting evolution of our worldwide best-seller, a car that is well suited to city driving and the open road,” he said.

From extensive use of high strength steels and advanced bonding systems that increase rigidity to electronic features that enhance strength, safety and comfort for all occupants, the sixth generation Elantra offers class-leading refinement and driving dynamics.

Two models are launched in New Zealand, the 2.0 litre A6 and the 2.0 litre Elite A6. Both feature a new MPI 2.0-litre engine with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) producing 112 kW (150 bhp) and192 Nm of torque.

The engine is coupled to Hyundai’s six speed automatic transmission to deliver combined fuel economy figures of 7.2 litres per 100 km*.

The new car’s exterior styling draws the Elantra into the new Hyundai Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language but acknowledges the outgoing car. Featuring a new version of the classic hexagonal chrome grille, evolving the flowing, sculpted lines and presenting a low and wide nose profile, the Elantra stands out with integrated LED ‘fog’ lights, LED daylight running lights that emphasise the new sculpted wrap-around headlight/indicator clusters (Elite versions) and other subtle features including LED indicators in the housings of the auto-folding side mirrors. Ducts in the front bumper direct air into the front wheel wells to smooth out airflow down each side of the car.

“We have seen the evolution of styling on the exterior and this continues inside the car. In so many ways, the Elantra benefits from design thinking, technology and innovation that have arrived in recently launched models such as the Tucson, and also from the Genesis premium/luxury brand. Inside and out, in every respect, this is a car for right now and well into the future,” said Mr Sinclair.

Inside the Elantra there are high quality leather seats including a ten-way adjustable power seat for the driver (Elite models), 60-40 split rear seat with fold-out middle armrest, steering wheel controls for phone, audio settings, on-board computer displays and functions and cruise control.

Centred in the instrument area is a new version of Hyundai’s ‘Supervision Cluster’ with a 3.5-inch liquid crystal display which gives access to a wide range of driver-selectable information including service intervals, distance to empty, fuel economy and more.

In the centre of the dash is a 7-inch touchscreen that gives access to more detailed settings and options and also doubles as the display for the reversing camera. Close at hand to the right of the main screen is the car’s engine start button.

Thanks to the use of proximity technology the car’s key can be kept in the driver’s pocket or simply placed in one of the Elantra’s console storage areas. Below the display screen is the control panel for the dual climate-control air conditioning (Elite models) and in the storage area are USB charger ports and a cable port for hard-connecting an audio or other device.

The Elantra’s multimedia audio system functions across the car’s Bluetooth phone connection and makes a range of music and entertainment options available to occupants..

Hyundai was one of the first to introduce Apple’s Car Play phone/device integration technology in New Zealand with the acclaimed Tucson in late 2015. The all new Elantra features Apple’s system. For non-Apple users the similar Android Auto technology will be available later in 2016.

“By making the user’s phone so accessible in the car, the technology allows selection of the owner’s favourite phone-based ‘apps’, music playlists and their preferred GPS navigation system and Siri, Apple’s own voice-command/information system. That means occupants are using their preferred device to access information, entertainment and more rather than having to re-learn ways to access these features,” said Mr Sinclair.

Safety is always foremost for Hyundai. The Elantra offers owners a package of smart safety technologies built around a reinforced chassis that includes six airbags protecting all occupants; reversing camera and park warning system (Elite models only); Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC); and new Blind Spot Detection (BSD). The latter works alongside the car’s Lane Change Assist (LCA) feature and activates orange warning lights in the side mirror when an object is in the car’s rear ¾ area during a lane change. The new car’s core safety technology has won it a full five star Australasian New Car Assessment Programme rating.**

Auto rain sensors activate the windscreen wipers, and a driver-selectable dusk-sensing feature switches on the headlights in low light situations.

The 2016 Hyundai Elantra A6 is available from $35,990; the Elite from $39,990.

“We have been able to present this very advanced car with an excellent specification without increasing the price, which makes it a very appealing prospect for customers looking for a refined, modern drive which also offers excellent value,” said Mr Sinclair.

Debut WRC round victory in Argentina for Paddon and Kennard

Hyundai Press Release Debut WRC round victory in Argentina 25Apr16 2

Kiwi rally drivers Hayden Paddon and John Kennard have made history with their victory at Rally Argentina in their Hyundai i20 rally car as the first New Zealanders to ever win a round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Paddon delivered the drive of his life on the very last challenge of the rally – the famed, mountainous, rock-strewn El Condor special stage – to wrench the rally victory from three-time WRC champion Sébastien Ogier on Sunday afternoon (Argentinean time). Paddon, originally from Geraldine, now holds second place in the WRC drivers’ championship with 57 points to Ogier’s 96 – the highest-ever championship position for a Kiwi rally driver.

Paddon and Kennard, from Blenheim, started Sunday’s final three-stage leg of Rally Argentina in the lead with a margin of 29.8 seconds over Ogier. The first fog-affected run through El Condor saw Ogier take 7.4 seconds out of Paddon’s lead as Paddon lost precious seconds with a gear-change issue. Special stage 17 saw Ogier deliver a blistering run which cut Paddon’s lead to a mere 2.6 seconds with just the final power stage to go. But Paddon stood up to the Frenchman’s challenge, saying he drove the wheels off his new generation Hyundai 120 WRC car to secure not only his first power stage win, but also his debut WRC rally win.

“It’s an amazing feeling, to win like this, on the last stage where the odds were a little bit against us,” said Paddon at the rally finish. “We lost a lot of time in the previous stage and just over two seconds margin going into that last one – I didn’t have a lot of confidence, but we just pushed like hell.”

“We’ve worked a lot on that stage in the three weeks before the rally because I’ve not been particularly strong on the tight and twisty stages. It’s a fantastic result for me, John and the whole team. A huge amount of work has gone into the New Generation i20 WRC. I knew from the first test that we could win with it. I just didn’t quite expect it to be so soon.”

“Everyone in the team, at the rallies and at Alzenau, thoroughly deserves this result. I am sure it’s the start of a lot more to come! I am thankful for everyone who has supported us back home in New Zealand and for all the positive messages we’ve received this weekend.”  

In what has been a history-making weekend of competition, Paddon won five WRC stages, bringing his total WRC stage victories to 15. He’s the second driver from the Southern Hemisphere to win a WRC round (the first being Argentina’s Jorge Recalde who won his home rally in a Lancia in 1988 and in again in a drivers-only round in 1995).

The event victory gives Paddon’s team, Hyundai Motorsport, its first win on a gravel event with Paddon’s team-mate Thierry Neuville having delivered the only other WRC event win for Hyundai on the German tarmac in 2014. It’s also the first win in the new generation Hyundai i20 WRC car in only its fourth outing. All three Hyundai Motorsport crews finished in the top six with Dani Sordo fourth overall and second to Paddon in the points-earning power stage to equal his best result of the season so far and Neuville was sixth to allow Hyundai Motorsport to improve its manufacturers’ championship standing.

Andy Sinclair, General Manager of Hyundai New Zealand, was rapt to see Paddon and Kennard on the top step of the podium in Argentina.

“Congratulations to Hayden and John on a truly outstanding performance to secure their first-ever WRC rally victory,” said Sinclair.

“At Hyundai New Zealand, we have had the great pleasure of working with Hayden since he secured his contract with Hyundai Motorsport. Hayden’s talent, professionalism and determination shine through in everything he does – he and John work incredibly hard and this success is surely just the start of many more such victories. We are looking forward to joining Hayden, John and the Hyundai New Zealand Rally Team crew at the International Rally of Whangarei this week as they compete for the second time in our New Zealand-built i20 rally car, a rally car supported by Hyundai New Zealand. It’s going to be great!”

Prior to the next WRC round in Portugal toward the end of May, Paddon and Kennard fly back to New Zealand to compete in the International Rally of Whangarei (29 April-1 May) in the New Zealand-built Hyundai i20 rally car in which they secured an astounding record-breaking win at Rally Otago just the week before Argentina. The New Zealand-built i20 rally car is part of a new partnership with Hyundai New Zealand designed to foster rallying and other competitors in New Zealand. The project also involves students who participate in a Hyundai New Zealand-backed mentoring programme for talented, passionate teenagers 15-18 years old called the Pinnacle Programme.

FIA World Rally Championship, round 4, Rally Argentina

Overall Final Classification

1.          H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) 2:54:45.6

2.          S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +14.3

3.          A. Mikkelsen / A. Jaeger (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:05.2

4.          D. Sordo / M. Martí (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +1:17.1

5.          M. Østberg / O. Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:56.7

6.          T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +9:29.5

7.          M. Ligato / R. Garcia (Citroën DS3 WRC) +9:39.2

8.          E. Camilli / B. Veillas (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +10:16.0

9.          H. Solberg / I. Minor (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +10:48.5

10.        N. Fuchs / F. Mussano (Škoda Fabia R5) +24:42.8

2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
S. Ogier 96 points / H. Paddon 57 / M. Østberg 52 /  A. Mikkelsen 48 / D. Sordo 44 / J. M. Latvala 27 / O. Tanak 24  / T. Neuville 23/ S. Lefebvre 10 / H. Solberg 8 / M. Prokop 6 / E. Evans 6 / M. Ligato 6 / C. Breen 4 / L. Bertelli 4 / E. Camilli 4 / T. Suninen 3 / E. Lappi 2 / A. Kremer 1 / K. Meeke 1 / V. Gorban 1 / N. Fuchs 1

2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings

Volkswagen Motorsport  117 points / Hyundai Motorsport 81 / M-Sport World Rally Team 62  / Hyundai Motorsport N 49 / Volkswagen Motorsport II 45 / DMACK World Rally Team 30 / Jipocar Czech National Team 6