Hayden Paddon takes first WRC Win

Hayden Paddon steered his Hyundai to his first World Rally Championship win on Rally Argentina after seeing off a late challenge from reigning champion Sebastien Ogier, who'd closed to within 2.6 seconds of Paddon's lead ahead of the final power stage, with the Volkswagen driver closing in following a storming drive through SS17, Mina Clavero-Guilio Cesare, 19s quicker than Paddon. But the Hyundai driver then took the power stage win by 11.2s to secure his maiden win, beating Ogier by 14.3s overall.

Jari-Matti Latvala initially led, the Finn holding a 14.5s lead on Saturday afternoon's SS14 before crashing out, handing Paddon the lead and promoting his Volkwagen team mate Andreas Mikkelsen to third overall and consistently quicker than rival Dani Sordo, culminating in a stage win on Saturday and ensuring his best ever result in Argentina.

Sordo had held the joint Thursday night lead, after tying the opening superspecial with Ogier on the streets of Cordoba, but would finish fourth overall with Mads Ostberg fifth after driving a conservative rally on what is considered one of the roughest events on the calendar. Thierry Neuville began the weekend admitting to a lack of confidence and battling an electrical issue before climbing through the order to sixth.

Behind him, Marcos Sebastian Ligato returned to the WRC for his home event and finished a highly impressive seventh, beating Henning Solberg to the position. Eric Camilli came into the event under pressure from M-Sport to finish the rally. He did exactly that, but rarely showed strong pace, finishing ninth. Latvala's Rally2 return and later power stage crash meant that WRC2 class winner Nicholas Fuchs finished tenth overall after Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, who'd led the class for most of Saturday rolled on the afternoon loop. Welshman Elfyn Evans retired on Friday and fell out of contention, but he returned to win six stages across the last two days.

Pos .... Driver .... Team .... Car .... Gap
1 Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 3h40m52.9s
2 Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 14.3s
3 Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Volkswagen 1m05.2s
4 Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 1m17.1s
5 Mads Ostberg M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 4m56.7s
6 Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 9m29.5s
7 Marcos Ligato Citroen 9m39.2s
8 Eric Camilli M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 10m16.0s
9 Henning Solberg Ford 10m48.5s
10 Nicolas Fuchs Skoda 24m42.8s

24th April, 2016