Two weeks later he competed in is first rally, at Hanmer, back in the his fathers Toyota Levin.

Aged 15, Hayden competed in the event with learner ‘L’ plates, which created a bit of interest and laughter. Seeded 24, he managed to end the event in 18th overall and 4th in class with co-driver and friend Richard Fincham alongside.

Later that same year he competed in his local Timaru Rally, where he got quicker and quicker by the stage. By the end of the event he had raced up to 18th overall and took class victory by over a minute. So 2002 was a year that wasn’t going to be forgotten in a hurry. Victories in the Mini, his first crash, first rally, and first rally class victory.

European Champions!

In 2023, Hayden Paddon had an exceptional season, solidifying his status as one of rallying's premier talents. Paddon clinched the European Rally Championship (ERC) title, showcasing his prowess across diverse terrains and against fierce competition. His remarkable...

read more

Taking on the World – Kiwi Style

In 2022, Hayden Paddon, alongside co-driver John Kennard, had a standout season, highlighted by their victory in the FIA World Rally2 Championship category at the Repco Rally New Zealand. Driving a Hyundai i20 N Rally2, they secured a significant triumph, setting a...

read more


The new year got underway with similar goals to the previous year – to contest the full New Zealand Rally Championship and also the Australian rounds of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship if Covid travel restrictions allowed. Hayden and John were happy to earn their...

read more


2020 started with great positivity – a goal to win three rally championship titles. First was to be another New Zealand Rally Championship. Second was to add in enough Australian events to win the FIA Pacific Cup for the second consecutive year. Third was to also take...

read more


2019 heralded a new era for Paddon Rallysport with a renewed international focus from their new HQ at Highlands Motorsport Park in Central Otago, New Zealand. The team now enjoyed great testing facilities literally on their doorstep on the world-class racetrack. Early...

read more