Matthew Payne could be racing a Super2 car sometime this year to nurture his development towards a potential Supercars drive.
On Tuesday, Payne was the first driver to join the newly formed Grove Racing Junior Team.
Next year, the Grove family will become the majority stakeholder of the Kelly Grove Racing Supercars team. The outfit will be rebranded as ‘Grove Racing.’
That same day it was confirmed that Andre Heimgartner would be departing the Kelly Grove Racing team at the end of the 2021 Supercars season.
Payne is touted as a possible replacement for Heimgartner from 2022 onwards. His multi-year deal with the Grove Junior team puts strength behind those claims.
Grove Racing team owner Stephen Grove says the junior team provides promising talents with a direct route to Supercars.
Grove also said that one of his intentions is to enter the Super2 series for the remainder of the year.
Given that Payne is the only junior team member to date, we could likely see him behind the wheel of a Super2 car at some stage this season.
He has also proven he can win races in Carrera Cup, picking up a debut victory for Team Porsche New Zealand at Townsville in July.
So, Super2 seems like the next logical step to get some V8 racing experience.
“Our aim with the [Junior] programme is to help foster [Payne] and take him to the next level,” Grove said.
Payne is also keeping his options up, posting on social media that he is still finalising a programme with the team for next year.
“Make sure you watch this space as we are finalising my 2022 programme, which could see me driving a variety of cars,” he said. “There are options of Carrera Cup, Super2, GT or Supercars.”