Matt Payne signs "long-term partnership" with Penrite Racing
Contract news comes just a week after Kiwi rookie took first win in Adelaide
Payne to be joined by Bathurst winner Richie Stanaway in 2024
Matt Payne has signed a contract extension with Penrite Racing, just a week after the Kiwi rookie scored his first Supercars victory.
The 21-year-old New Zealander has inked a "long-term partnership" with the team, which also welcomes Bathurst winner Richie Stanaway in 2024.
It comes after the Grove-owned Ford squad extended its naming rights partnership with Penrite Oil.
Payne, a karting and open-wheel whiz, was picked up by the Groves and dropped into the Dunlop Super2 Series midway through 2021. He finished third in 2022 before rising to the main game in 2023.
The Aucklander showed glimpses of his prodigious talent throughout his rookie season, culminating in a stunning victory at the VAILO Adelaide 500 to close out the year.
“After securing my first race win, I am excited to re-sign with Penrite Racing,” Payne said.
"The upcoming season holds new challenges, fresh competition, and the opportunity to improve my performance on the track.
"I am confident with the support of Penrite Racing, we can further our success in 2024."
Team owner Stephen Grove said the youngster was a key part of the team's strategy in the long term.
“It was important for the team to extend Matthew’s contract to ensure the entire Racing group can continue to develop the team for the long term,” Grove said.
"Matthew is a vital part of our long-term strategy, and his commitment to the team through a long-term extension to his current contract, is a testament to the direction of the whole Racing group at Grove Racing.”
Penrite Racing Team Principal David Cauchi echoed Grove's sentiment, saying Payne's re-signing was an example of the Grove family's commitment to blooding the next generation of stars.
“Matt started his career with us as part of our junior team and he is the first driver the graduate up to Supercars,” Cauchi said.
"It is a testament to Stephen and Brenton Grove for their commitment to developing young talent and to continue our relationship with Matt is very satisfying.
"Our first year in Supercars produced a race win which is a rare achievement in such as competitive championship.
"Matt has shown that he deserves to be in Supercars, and he will be a key part of our team into the future."
Payne and Stanaway will turn their first laps of 2024 in pre-season testing in early February before the Thrifty Bathurst 500 on February 23-25.