From the small town of Geraldine in rural Canterbury, Hayden Paddon has taken the world rally scene by storm, cementing himself as New Zealand’s number one rally driver and one of the brightest young prospects in the sport. Hayden began go-karting at the age of six, displaying a natural flair for the track, and began turning heads by claiming several regional and national go-karting and rallying championships. In 2006, aged 19, Hayden debuted in the New Zealand Rally Championship, winning junior and rookie titles in his Group N Mitsubishi Evo 8. The following year, Hayden won his first national rally event at the International Rally of Whangerei, retained his junior championship and narrowly missed out on the overall championship by a mere one point. This experience generated a stronger impetus for Hayden to succeed; he powered on to capture the 2008 and 2009 NZ Rally Championships, becoming the youngest ever New Zealand Rally Champion at the age of just 21 in the process. These victories earned Hayden the coveted Pirelli Star Driver Scholarship for a fully funded year in the 2010 Production World Rally Championship (PWRC). Undaunted by the world stage, Hayden’s success continued in the PWRC. He finished third overall, with five out of six podium finishes and a maiden victory in the New Zealand round. In 2011 Hayden returned to the PWRC with a new brand – Subaru – and an even greater hunger for victory, dominating the group by winning the first four rounds and the championship – a first for someone from the southern hemisphere. Hayden’s achievements were also recognised by New Zealand’s highest sporting honour, gaining nomination for the prestigious Halberg award.