Kiwi Superstar Hayden Paddon has once again proven why he remains untouchable in New Zealand Rallying - taking 13.4 seconds off his own previous record, recorded in 2019. The Hyundai i20N Rally 2 driver is on track for another clean sweep of Otago stages - with only the second running of the Berwick stage, Taieri Beach, and the world famous Kuri Bush to run. Paddon now holds an insurmountable lead of just under 4 minutes to second placed team mate Ari Pettigrew. In the race for second place, Skoda driver Ben Hunt has clocked a commanding time, beating nearest rival Pettigrew through the 11.84km stage by a whopping 8.9 seconds, essentially halving the time difference between Pettigrew and Paddon. Hunt now sits 33.5 seconds behind Pettigrew, with the second running of the rally's longest stage still ahead. Though the pair were close in the first run, Hunt has the greater experience, and could conceivably reduce that deficit dramatically in the next stage. Meanwhile, Emma Gilmour has come in between the two second-place contenders through the stage, 2.5 seconds quicker than Ari and importantly 3.9 seconds ahead of fourth-placed Raana Horan. The gap between the pair is now only 8.1 seconds going into Berwick.
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