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Hayden Paddon

Driver profile

Career Summary


Nationality:  NZL
Date of Birth: 20.04.1987
Age: 31
Birthplace: Geraldine
First Rally: 2007, Great Britain
Rally Wins: 1
Website: www.haydenpaddon.com

Season 2018

Classification: WRC
Car No: 0
Car: Hyundai i20 WRC
Team: Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team
Co-driver: Sebastian Marshall

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Here’s what makes him special:

• Hayden has always been determined to succeed in the WRC. As a schoolboy he funded his rallying by squeezing in a 5am paper round, shifts in a fish and chip shop and a job selling motorbike spares.

• His PWRC title in 2011 made Paddon the first Australasian driver to win an FIA World Rally Championship.

• His maiden WRC win in Argentina 2016 marked him out as one of the sport’s brightest rising stars.

The story so far

Like many professional drivers, Paddon’s career began in karts. Racing from the age of six, he sold his kart when he was 13 to buy a grass-track Mini. Supported by his father Chris, a club rally driver, he enjoyed success in Motorkhana in the Mini and rally sprints as co-driver to his father in a Toyota Levin.

Paddon’s first rally behind the wheel came in 2002 when he was 15. Driving his father’s Toyota fitted with learner plates, he finished fourth in class. Two seasons in the South Island Rally Championship followed, before a step up to a four-wheel drive Mitsubishi in 2005 and the New Zealand Junior and Rookie titles in 2006. He won the championship outright in 2008.

Paddon’s international ambitions were given a boost in 2009 when he won a Pirelli Star Driver scholarship to tackle the 2010 PWRC. He finished third that year, but a self-funded return in 2011 was more successful, and Paddon became the first Australasian winner of an FIA world rally title.

He returned in 2012 at the wheel of a Skoda S2000 and won three rounds, but was unable to hold on to the title. With funds low, Paddon managed just three WRC 2 rallies in 2013 before rounding off his season with eighth place at Rally de España on his first event in a World Rally Car.

Hyundai’s WRC arrival in 2014 couldn’t have come at a better time for Paddon. The team was eager to put miles on its new i20 WRC, and Paddon secured a six round programme in the manufacturer’s second-tier ‘N’ team.

Although the new car was far from perfect, he impressed with eighth places in Poland and Finland and took a career best sixth in Australia – as close as the WRC gets to his home ground.

The 2015 season marked Paddon's breakthrough. He finished second in Italy after leading for most of the opening two days and followed up with fourth in Poland. With confidence high, he showed strong pace through the rest of the year to earn a three-year deal with the Korean manufacturer.

And in 2016 he repaid that faith. After another second place, this time in Sweden, he clinched a thrilling maiden win in Argentina by beating Sébastien Ogier, fair and square, in a last-stage duel.

Expected to be a genuine contender in 2017, Paddon struggled to make his mark and podium finishes in Poland and Australia were the only highlights.

The Kiwi’s driving duties will be reduced in 2018 as he shares a third i20 WRC with Dani Sordo.

Season Classification Starts 1. 2. 3. Car Points Standing
2017 WRC 12 0 1 1 Hyundai i20 WRC 74 8.
2016 WRC 13 1 1 1 Hyundai i20 WRC Hyundai i20 WRC 138 4.
2015 WRC 12 0 1 0 Hyundai i20 WRC 84 9.
2014 WRC 6 0 0 0 Hyundai i20 WRC 19 14.
2013 WRC 4 0 0 0 Skoda Fabia S2000 8 17.
2013 WRC2 2 0 0 0 Skoda Fabia S2000 40 12.
2012 S-WRC 5 0 0 0 78 4.
2011 WRC 6 0 0 0 Subaru Impreza 10 18.
2011 P-WRC 5 0 0 0 Subaru Impreza 104 1.
2010 P-WRC 6 0 0 0 97 3.
2008 P-WRC 1 0 0 0 5 21.


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