The 2022 Supercars Gala Awards has seen drivers new and old drivers receive well earned recognition for their effort and contribution to the sport over the years including Kiwi Matthew Payne who was awarded the Mike Kable Young Gun award.
It was Payne’s rookie season in Super2 this year where he finished third overall in the drivers’ standings.
His final two races at the VALO Adelaide 500 saw him score second and third place, while also being elected rookie of the year.
The New Zealander makes the jump to the main Supercars category in 2023, replacing Lee Holdsworth at Penrite Racing.
In a fitting send off to Holdsworth, the Australian driver took out the event evening’s biggest off-track award, the Barry Sheene Medal.
He was voted Supercars’ ‘best and fairest’ driver by the media.
Another Kiwi among the awardees was Shane van Gisbergen who received the Fans’ Choice Most Popular Driver award which the 2022 Supercars champion also won last year.
Since the Gen2 cars debuted in 2013, van Gisbergen has been the era’s most successful driver with 2022 being his best year yet after breaking Scott McLaughlin’s single season race win record.
His closest rival all season, Cam Waters, was given the driver-voted Drivers’ Driver Award which he also won in 2020.
Seven-time Bathurst winner Craig Lowndes was inducted into the Supercars Hall of Fame alongside former race director Tim Schenken who retired from the role in 2021.
We next join the Supercars paddock in March next year in Newcastle where the all-new Gen3 cars will debut.
Main image: Supercars