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Hot competition for MotorSport’s premier awards

Media Release

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Hot competition for MotorSport’s premier awards

Finalists for the MotorSport New Zealand premier awards have been announced by president, Steven Kennedy.

“The sport has three supreme awards covering the different disciplines of racing, rallying and classic competition and a fourth that recognises the outstanding under 21 driver,” he said.

“These awards, which are open to any New Zealand driver, whether competing in New Zealand or overseas, are not based just on competition results, but also on driver’s attitude of sportsmanship toward their fellow competitors and officials.

“The quality of the finalists shows the current very high standard of motorsport in New Zealand. We are seeing the benefits of the New Zealand MotorSport Academy and other initiatives to help young drivers achieve at the top levels of the sport nationally and internationally,” he said.

“The quality of the nominees for the Steel Trophy for the outstanding under 21 racing driver of the year is an indication of the challenge the judges have in sorting a winner.”

The finalists from a nomination list of 12 drivers are:

* Earl Bamber, (Wanganui) second in this year’s Toyota Racing Series and last year was first rookie to win the Formula BMW Asia championships.
* Brendon Hartley, (formerly Palmerston North) winner of this trophy in 2004, currently competing with distinction in the British Formula 3 championship, winner of last year’s European Formula Renault championship and the first winner of the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand.
* Shane Van Gisbergen, (formerly Auckland) trophy winner in 2005 and 06 , who swapped from Toyota Racing Series to V8 Supercars earlier this year and immediately stamped his mark on the class.
* John Whelan, (Dunedin), winner of the 07-08 Formula Ford championship in his first year in the class.

From eight nominees for the Rally Founders Trophy the finalists are:

* Haydon Paddon (Geraldine), winner of the NZ Junior Rally Championship in 2006 and 2007 and an outstanding and talented young driver.
* Dave Strong (Auckland), a champion exponent in the Kiwi 2WD class rally who has won his class title twice already, campaigning a Honda Civic.
* Mark Tapper (Auckland) Group N 2WD champion and a tireless competitor with 2WD or 4WD.

Finalists for the Lupp Trophy for classic competition and contribution to the sport are:

* David Abbott (Christchurch), a tireless organiser and competitor in helping lead the resurgence of the F5000 class as an historic class over the past five years and in promoting classic racing.
* Dennis and Debbie Chapman (Christchurch), for their work in organising and competing in classic events in the North and South Islands including the Skope Classic and Southern Festival of Speed.
* Alan Woolf (Auckland), a long time competitor and organiser in the classic scene, always willing to share advice and ideas.

There were 11 nominations for the Jim Clark Trophy for the outstanding racing driver for 2007/08. Finalists are:

* Craig Baird (Brisbane), champion Porsche GT3 driver on both sides of the Tasman, former winner of almost every racing title in New Zealand, international competitor for Porsche teams and who won a recent Bahrain meeting against Porsche GT3 factory drivers.
* Jonny Reid (Auckland), number one driver for the NZ A1GP team, competing very successfully on circuits around the world and who finished second in this year’s competition.
* John McIntyre (Nelson), V8s champion in 07/08 for the second year and winner of the Hamilton 400 NZ V8s trophy. He won the trophy in 2007.

Winners will be announced at the annual MotorSport Awards Dinner in Wellington on May 24.


© Scoop Media

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