Driven, more like Obsession – Book review

Driven, Hayden Paddon with Catherine Pattison – Penguin Random House NZ

Timing is everything and the release of World Rally Championship driver Hayden Paddon’s autobiography ‘Driven’ in time for Father’s Day is a winner. This is a compelling read for any Paddon fan or follower and many fathers will be smiling come 1 September.

While many of us have followed and know much about Paddon’s motor rallying career, the book fills in the gaps and gives understanding to the astonishing talent and drive this young man has.

Paddon is quite frank about many aspects of his life. The impact of his parents separating, struggling with both school and home life and the peace that hooning around in cars gave him.

He talks frankly about his goals, bringing his Team Green together and winning on the domestic front. Expanding onto the world rally stage, the ups and downs of financing and competing overseas.

Then there is 2017, the year to forget. For the first time we get his description of the fateful rally stage at Rallye Monte Carlo that inadvertently took a spectator’s life. The affects of this compounded with a relationship breakup and ongoing technical issues with his Hyundai WRC car through the competition season.

We have his take on what happened with Hyundai Motorsport and the break down of contract negotiations leading to his not having a WRC drive in 2019. The emotion juxtaposed with his loyalty to the brand, especially at home in New Zealand.

‘Obsession’ may have been the better title as having read the book, one could be forgiven for thinking Paddon was a man obsessed with winning the World Rally Championship. Many of us are ‘driven’ in our careers but Paddon is next level.

Paddon goes into his determination from a very early age with his goal of becoming a WRC champion. A recurring theme and motivating goal that has determined what he has achieved so far to this point.

Having read the book, Paddon is clearly an extraordinary person. It is not only his talent but an extraordinary drive to to pursue his ultimate goal and not allowing any obstacle to impede his progress.

It’s an easy read but at $40 the book is lacking in photographs that we know have documented his entire career.

It is a must-read for all Paddon, rally and motorsport fans. While he exposes his strengths and flaws, one can’t help but to increase a respect and admiration for not only what he has achieved but also for those family, friends and investors who have stood by him through thick and thin.

Congratulations must also go to Catherine Pattison who penned this autobiography for Hayden.

Benjamin Carrell

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!

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