Hayden Paddon debuted his EV Hyundai Kona at the Waimate 50 over the weekend.
The new Hyundai developed by Paddon and his team Paddon Rallysport won the event with a time under two minutes,
Paddon was the first to break the two-minute barrier with Matt Penrose setting a time of 1.59 to finish second.
“Really proud of this one for the whole team – P1 on debut of our Hyundai NZ Kona EV rally car!” Paddon shared on social media after the event.
“What an effort [it] has been to get to this point to be competing alone, and we certainly had many things to learn over the weekend.
“The most exciting part is how much potential is in this car for the future – so much more to come!
“Big thanks for everyone’s support and positive comments and look forward to what this car has in store for us moving forward.”
Rob Aikman organiser of the Waimate 50 spoke to Otago Daily Times about the EV’s debut.
“Hayden Paddon making history with the EV car, it just adds to our history as well. We’re very, very stoked with that,” Aikman said.
“I’m totally interested. It’s the way of the future and you have to appreciate it for what it is.”
“We’re getting that wow factor. We have worked a lot on the road to make sure they were in good condition. The council got in behind us with that.”
Days before the event organisers were forced to close the gates, not letting spectators attend the event, something they had planned to do, with a limit on numbers in attendance.
“We’ve made it happen. We’re pretty pleased — all our competitors are as well which is important to us.
“It’s just unfortunate that we were pretty geared up with a big crowd, but that hasn’t occurred. We’ll just have to suck that one up.”
While Paddon’s car is already strong the team are already looking ahead at future developments and changes to continue improving the car, the team feeling like there is a lot more pace in the car.