Grove junior Payne remains tight-lipped over future

08 Oct 2021
'It’s just about racing as much as possible'
3 mins by James Pavey
How the Groves are helping young talent

Matthew Payne has remained coy on his future plans following his recruitment by the Grove Junior Team.

Kelly Grove Racing yet to confirm a teammate for David Reynolds for the 2022 season.

The door remains ajar for Payne, who was recently announced as the inaugural inductee to the Grove Junior Team.

The teenager will likely need a dispensation to acquire a Motorsport Australia Superlicence if he can make the leap to the main game.

Regardless, the Groves have already aided Payne's Supercars journey by handing him seat time aboard a Supercar last week. 

Onboard: Payne gets first taste of Mustang

The 19-year-old has also been confirmed to compete in the remaining rounds of the 2021 Dunlop Super2 Series.

"Pretty much from my eyes, it’s just about racing as much as possible," Payne told Supercars.com.

"There are many categories that are on the table for me, but I just love racing.

"So that's all that I want to do, really."

The karting prodigy won the 2021 Toyota Racing Series title, having claimed podiums in all nine races, including five wins.

McLaughlin commends Grove Junior Programme

Payne transitioned to tin tops in 2021, and his maiden Porsche Carrera Cup campaign has already featured pole positions and a win in Townsville.

The youngster’s performances have impressed team co-owners Todd Kelly and Stephen Grove, with his talent compared to three-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin.


McLaughlin, himself part of the Grove family, has also thrown his support behind Payne.

While Payne is yet to gain experience racing a Supercar, the teen praised the Grove Junior program for the opportunity to develop all of his skills.

"Most of what I am learning is behind the scenes, sort of what you don't see," Payne said.

Payne at January's New Zealand Grand Prix with Shane van Gisbergen

"There's a lot of media training going on and the commercial side of it.

"It’s what normal racing drivers don't really see that goes on behind the scenes, and they [Stephen and Brenton Grove] do a really good job.

"They've got so many people they know, which is really helpful.

"I think it's also really important because it helps build the team, and that supports the whole thing.

"They do a really good job with that, and it's been really helpful so far."

'It’s just about racing as much as possible'

The Grove Group opened applications for its junior development program for 2022 last week.

The Groves will offer young drivers the opportunity to apply to be part of the initial three-driver squad.

"It's so awesome to see this to opportunities available for some young drivers to come in and make a name for themselves," Payne said of the program.

"To have the support that Steve offers and the opportunities that he has is really amazing.

"I'm just so grateful to see two young guys get the opportunity that I do."

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