Matt Payne will “definitely” race a Penrite Racing car in 2023, says team owner Stephen Grove.
Payne has long been tipped for a main game seat at the Braeside team.
Grove told Supercars.com the Kiwi teenager will make his full-time debut for the team next season.
It now offers the question of who he will replace, with David Reynolds and Lee Holdsworth the incumbents.
It comes as Grove stated the current plan is to retain a two-car squad for 2023.
“At this point, we’ll probably only run two cars,” Grove told Supercars.com.
“We’re still working through the process.
“Matty will definitely have a spot, though.”
Payne led the Super2 standings after Perth, and ceded the points lead after a Sunday crash.
The New Zealander will make his Great Race debut alongside Reynolds in October.
Given the certainty from Grove around Payne, Reynolds or Holdsworth will be on the move.
Reynolds has impressed this season, having scored six podiums and a pole position.
Holdsworth has shown glimpses of speed, but is six places lower than Reynolds in the championship.
Both Penrite Racing drivers struggled to extract pace from their Fords in Townsville.
The team now heads to Tailem Bend, where it won a race with Andre Heimgartner last May.
Payne will have to wait until Sandown to resume his Super2 campaign, having won a race and the round in Perth.
He has been racing a number of GT cars to sharpen his skillset.
Given the aggressive nature of main game Supercars racing, Grove believes the extra seat time will only help Payne.
“We do,” Grove replied when asked if Payne is ready for the main game.
Holdsworth joined the team this season
“There’s not much racing in the world that’s as close as Supercars.
“Door-to-door, first to the last car, they race really hard. He’s young, he’s quick.
"The faster we can get him through the journeys and experiences that he needs to get.
“The Safety Cars, maybe starting off the front row, how you do that, warming your tyres up, making sure your tyres last.
“They’re the things we need to teach him, and teach him quickly.
“We need to get him in the car, and we need to get him as much experience as we can."
The 2022 season will resume at the OTR SuperSprint on July 30-31. Purchase your tickets now.