Payne gets 2022 Super2 seat as Supercars door closes

Matt Payne will contest the Super2 series full-time in 2022, driving a Nissan Altima for Kelly Grove Racing.

Payne gets 2022 Super2 seat as Supercars door closes
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Payne was initially being trained by KGR for a direct graduation to Supercars next year, and got a first run in the Altima in September before taking part in the final two rounds of the Super2 series at Sydney and Bathurst.

KGR formally applied for a Superlicense dispensation for Payne in October, hoping that Motorsport Australia will give him the necessary approvals to take the Supercars seat vacated by Brad Jones Racing-bound Andre Heimgartner.

However, Friday’s announcement suggests that Payne didn't succeed in getting an exemption from the governing body, with Grove Racing saying in a statement that the 19-year-old will now spend a full season in Super2 with a view to racing in the main game in 2023.

“I’m excited to get the opportunity to compete in the full Dunlop Super2 Series next year, by competing in Super 2 this will give me the flexibility to compete in further endurance racing formats and advance my preparation for main game with Grove Racing in 2023,” said Payne.

“I have been given the opportunity to drive the team’s main series Mustangs and its Super2 Nissans, so I feel that I am as prepared as I could be to compete for race wins and podiums.

“It was awesome to race in the series in the final two rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park and Bathurst. The experience I gained there was phenomenal.

“These cars are a real thrill to drive, and I have to thank Stephen and Brenton for the trust and loyalty in giving me this chance.”

With Payne out of the equation, Zane Goddard, Lee Holdsworth and Fabian Coulthard have all been touted as potential replacements for Heimgartner.

David Reynolds will continue to pilot KGR’s other entry in Supercars.

“I’m proud that Grove Racing will be represented on the Super2 grid next year, highlighting the team's role in supporting and nurturing young talent in Australian motorsport,” said team owner Stephen Grove. 

“Having Matthew represent the team and our partners is extremely exciting and shows the future direction that Grove Racing is headed.

“Having analysed Matt this year, it was clear that he’s a talent of the sport and someone we want to invest in. His speed and maturity is exceptional for the time he’s spent in not just a Supercar, but in racing cars in general. This year was his first year racing cars, so we’re pretty excited about the foundations we can build upon.

“He will continue his development within the team, working hand in hand with the main game squad and acting as a sponge to learn from the experience we have within the team.”

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