CONFIRMATION has finally arrived that Matt Payne will make his debut as a Repco Supercars Championship full-timer in 2023.
It’s long been clear that Payne and David Reynolds will form Grove Racing’s driver line-up from the start of Gen3.
Payne, 19, will take over from the retiring Lee Holdsworth, who he is sharing the #10 Penrite Mustang with at next week’s Repco Bathurst 1000.
“It’s a nice feeling to announce this prior to heading to Mount Panorama for my first Bathurst 1000,” said the New Zealander.
“I would like to thank the whole Grove Group especially Steve, Brenton and Tania for placing so much belief in my ability from a very early stage in my racing career, and to my personal crew for making it all fall into place so early on.
“I feel ready for Supercars and the learning process that goes with it. Grove Racing is a team that has enormous potential and plenty of upside to succeed.
“The new Gen3 era is going to be exciting, and I can’t wait to hit the track next year but first is Bathurst – Lee and I have a job to do there, as well as my Super2 campaign, which we are still in with a shot of winning in our first year.”
Team owner Stephen Grove said: “Our 2023 driver line-up gives us great flexibility with the experience and continuity of Dave, combined with the first graduate of the Grove Junior Team into Supercar.
“Matt brings speed and a work ethic that drives success.
“The development of our next generation of driver in Matt, together with a vastly experienced driver in Dave makes for a great combination in 2023.”
Reynolds, whose leadership was praised by team principal David Cauchi, is eyeing bigger and better things having already scored six podiums this year.
“I’m really happy to have the next stage of my career locked in, I really feel like we’re moving in the right direction together ahead of Gen3 and we’re all on the same page as a team as we continue to grow,” said the 2017 Bathurst 1000 winner.
“We’ve had some strong results this year and we can continue to get better.
“It’ll be a good challenge having Matt join us full-time, he’s been quick in everything he’s raced so I hope we push each other and ultimately move the team forward.”
Reynolds will be partnered by Matt Campbell at Bathurst.