Creation of Grove Racing Junior Team cements Carrera Cup Australia as preferred pathway into Supercars
Three-time Carrera Cup Australia Pro-Am Champion, Stephen Grove, sees the Grove Racing Junior team as his preferred pathway for young karters to progress through both Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge and Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia to the highest level of local motorsport, the Repco Supercars Championship.
The news comes off the back of the formation of the Grove Junior Team and the announcement of Matthew Payne as its inaugural inductee. The gifted New Zealander has had unprecedented success in karting internationally and the Toyota Racing Series, before making the transition the highly competitive Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia series this year and becoming a Michelin Junior driver. After three rounds, Payne recorded back-to-back pole positions and a maiden race win with the newly formed Team Porsche New Zealand Junior Team run by Earl Bamber Motorsport.
For the remainder of the 2021 season, the Grove Junior Team will aim to have an entry in both the Carrera Cup Australia and Super 2 series allowing Payne the opportunity to develop in the best testing grounds in Australia.
Stephen Grove, Grove Racing Team Owner & Principal: “It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce that Matt Payne will be coming straight out of Carrera Cup Australia into our Junior program. We set up the Grove Junior Team to be able to support and foster the next generation of motorsport talent through karting, the Porsche Pyramid and Super 2 with a view to ultimately one day lead into the pinnacle of Motorsport, Supercars. I have had the pleasure of actually racing with Matt this year and watch him develop in Carrera Cup Australia. He had some fantastic results at Townsville, to put it on Pole at a track he’s never been to show he’s got a huge talent. Our aim with the program is to help foster him and take him to the next level.”
Porsche Cars Australia’s Head of Motorsport, Troy Bundy: “There are not many Supercar drivers that haven’t come through both Carrera Cup Australia and our Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme, the latter remains the most proven pathway for drivers to progress onto international and local success. We welcome all the Junior development initiatives of each our Carrera Cup teams and see the Grove Racing Team as a strong partner locally in developing emerging talent from across the Australasian region.”
About Porsche Michelin Junior Programme
The continued support and development of the best young drivers from around the Australasian region has been a key priority for both Michelin Australia and Porsche Cars Australia for several years now. The domestic collaboration has seen the initiative grow into benchmark driver development programme in the country and remain a vital feature of the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid.
For the 2021 season, the French tyre giant has announced that it will again support the Porsche Junior Development Programme offering eligible young drivers from the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia and Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge series mentorship, support and training from the country’s leading sports professionals and coaches, as well as the opportunity to win their share of the $300,000 prize pool on offer.
Other drivers that have progressed up the Porsche Motorsport pyramid in recent years via the Australian Junior Programme, include the likes of Matt Campbell, Nick Foster, Nick Percat, Fabian Coulthard and Andre Heimgartner, who have all gone on to succeed at the highest levels of the sport both locally and internationally.