On Thursday 27 February, Hayden was absolutely thrilled to announce he had signed with Hyundai Motorsport for a six-round WRC programme, starting with Rally Italia Sardegna in June. He became the first New Zealander to secure a professional contract to compete in the WRC. Hayden and John will compete in a Hyundai i20 WRC (World Rally Car), entered as Hyundai Motorsport N with the potential to earn points in both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships. The crew will drive alongside the two Hyundai Shell World Rally Team i20 WRC branded cars, driven respectively by Thierry Neuville in #7 and by Juho Hänninen, Dani Sordo and Chris Atkinson sharing the drive in #8.

At their debut event with Hyundai Motorsport, Hayden and John took a top-five stage time on the final day of July’s Rally Italia Sardegna, finishing in 12th place overall in their Hyundai i20 WRC.

Later that month they moved up to a credible eighth place overall at Rally Poland.

A power steering issue didn’t stop Hayden and John from finishing August’s Neste Oil Rally Finland in a solid eighth place in their third WRC event. Their most competitive rally to date in the #20 Hyundai i20 WRC they had two fourth-fastest stage times on Friday morning, and they held a strong sixth place overall after Saturday’s ten stages. Unfortunately, power steering problems on Sunday prevented them from maintaining their excellent run of form and they dropped back to a career best-equalling eighth place by the end of the 26-stage rally.

In September, Hayden and John took their best-ever result in a WRC event with sixth place at the Coates Hire Rally Australia, where they finished the highest of the three Hyundai Motorsport crews. After an intense battle with the Citroën crew of Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson throughout the event, the Kiwis were perfectly positioned to take advantage of Østberg’s demise with a broken suspension in the penultimate stage of the 20-stage rally based in the New South Wales coastal town of Coffs Harbour.

October would see Hayden and John notch up their first WRC stage win during Friday’s gravel stages at the RACC-Rally de Espana, where they finished with a solid ninth place overall.

In their final 2014 rally, the Kiwi pair earned WRC drivers’ championship points for the fifth consecutive event, wrapping up their debut season with a 10th place at the slippery Wales Rally GB.

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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