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Hartley, Paddon & Kennard, Hedge & Wilkinson win MotorSport New Zealand Premier Awards

MotorSport New Zealand’s premier awards have seen a high calibre of recipients recognised for 2023. The winners were announced at the annual MotorSport New Zealand Awards Evening in Wellington on Saturday night.

Gary Wilkinson was awarded the Lupp Trophy for his efforts in raising the profile of historic touring car racing. The Lupp Trophy is awarded to recognise a competitor from Classic and Historic racing who has demonstrated exceptional levels of sportsmanship, vehicle presentation and who embodies the very spirit and values associated with the Classic and Historic movement.

The Steel Memorial Trophy, awarded to a junior driver who displays dedication, skill and a level of professionalism, was presented to Carrera Cup Australia driver and Formula Regional Oceania runner-up Callum Hedge. Hedge has recorded race wins in both categories in the past 12 months and is also undertaking a Formula Regional Americas campaign throughout 2023.

In a first for the Rally Founders Trophy, both Hayden Paddon and John Kennard were award the trophy which recognises a rally competitor who performs with distinction during the rally season, either nationally or internationally. Paddon took out his sixth and Kennard his fifth New Zealand Rally Championship title in 2022 as well as leading the Paddon Rally Group team overseas.

The Jim Clark Trophy, the highest annually awarded honour for competitors, was presented to FIA World Endurance Champion Brendon Hartley. Hartley and his teammate won two World Endurance Championship races in 2022, including the LeMans 24 Hours. The Jim Clark Trophy is awarded annually to a New Zealand driver who shows a sportsmanlike attitude to the sport and fellow competitors and natural ability in “putting up the most meritorious racing performance during the season”.

MotorSport New Zealand President, Wayne Christie, praised the achievements of the premier award winners.

“Tonight we celebrate the great achievements of our competitors over the past season and recognise the achievements of our people across the whole of the sport,” said Christie.

“All of our premier award winners, Brendon, Gary, Callum and John and Hayden have all shown New Zealand is a nation full of motorsport talent who can perform on the world stage.”

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