Monday, Nov 18 07:55pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Announcing Velocity News Driver of the Year

With the season of motor racing coming to a close, velocitynews.co.nz is excited to announce the Velocity News Driver of the Year.


Following its debut in 2017, the compilation list returns for the third year with added support from the local motor racing industry.


The Velocity News Driver of the Year will once again comprise of a Top 50 list, featuring New Zealand’s best domestic and international drivers ranked based on their performance in 2019 alone.


Two new categories are set to be launched this year that will reward not only drivers but fans of New Zealand motorsport too. Details regarding the additional categories will be released in the coming days.


For the Velocity News Driver of the Year, an expanded judging line-up has been assembled.


New to the panel this year is Murray Taylor. A former team owner and journalist, Murray Taylor Racing contested British F3 during the mid 1980’s with icons like Damon Hill and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Davy Jones.  


Also new to the panel is publisher and team owner Mark Petch. A stalwart of the New Zealand motor racing scene, Mark has backed some of the best in motor racing including the country’s fastest female racer Christina Orr-West.


Mark is a former national championship winner as a driver and ran big names like John Bowe, Robbie Francevic, Brett Riley, Kayne Scott, the late Ashley Stichbury and Italian Gianfranco Brancatelli in New Zealand and Australia.


Richard Gee, co-founder of velocitynews.co.nz, returns for another year. Richard is a former club racer and current TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand and Speed Works Events press officer. He has extensive experience working as a journalist and in public relations both in New Zealand and overseas and has been a fan of motor racing for over 40 years.


Once again, Editor and co-founder Simon Chapman will be joined by fellow co-founder and prolific Driven journalist Matthew Hansen. The pair began velocitynews.co.nz alongside Richard, forming New Zealand’s most read online motorsport-focussed website.


Matthew worked for Parkside Media on their NZ Performance Car magazine and Motorhood website before moving to Driven. Matthew has worked at high profile events including the Bathurst 1000, Bathurst 12 Hour and ITM Auckland SuperSprint year on year.


The full five-part countdown will be released in mid-December.