Another fast young New Zealander running the #97 has joined the Supercars ladder in the form of Matthew McCutcheon — and the number is no coincidence.
A protege of Shane van Gisbergen, McCutcheon was a champion in dirt speedway at just 15 years of age, but his desire to become a Supercars champion led to his switch to circuit racing in recent years, starting in Formula First and graduating to Formula Ford.
He finished second overall in New Zealand's 2020/21 Formula Ford season with van Gisbergen in his corner; the multiple Supercars champion was on hand to analyse data and offer guidance as McCutcheon raced a car run by Shane's father Robert.
McCutcheon earnt the Tony Quinn Foundation scholarship for 2022 and graduated to the Toyota 86 Racing Series, winning a race in his rookie season.
He sampled a Supercar for the first time last year at an Erebus Motorsport 'Who's Next' evaluation day at Winton in August and hopped behind the wheel of one the Eggleston Motorsport Commodores at the same track last December.