Payne's mid-race mindset shift after AGP drama

03 Apr
'If I had just started blowing up and getting angry… that doesn't help anyone'
  • Matt Payne thinking about championship during Race 6 recovery

  • Payne dropped from first to 22nd after two incidents in AGP finale

  • Kiwi driver 242 points from series lead heading to New Zealand

Matt Payne thought about the long game during his recovery drive in the Melbourne finale, which helped the Penrite Racing driver score valuable championship points.

Heading to the ITM Taupō Super400, Payne is 242 points behind championship leader Will Brown following torrid runs in the final two Grand Prix races.

After surrendering a potential victory in the Saturday race after a clash with Cam Waters, Payne dropped to the rear in the finale after two incidents.

Payne was hit out of the lead by Chaz Mostert, before contact with Bryce Fullwood sent the Penrite Ford to the back of the field.

Instead of venting to engineer Jack Bell over the radio, Payne thought about the championship picture and worked his way through the field, finishing 14th.

payne off 2024 agp

Speaking on the latest Penrite Insights video, Payne was pleased to recover what could have been a far worse situation.

"I was disappointed and I was a bit angry too, like I didn't say anything on the radio,” recounted Payne, who finished third in the first two races.

"We still had a few laps left, and we ended up passing some cars. We were 22nd, and we got back to got back to 14th.

"There was a bit of an excursion on the last lap, a few cars went off which helped us. So, it was nice to make a little bit of recovery out of it. It could have easily been a 20th place.”

Mostert apologised to Payne after the costly incident, with the two Fords disputing the lead at the time.

1019-Payne-EV01-24-KB2 1056

Payne later accepted Mostert’s apology, but admitted the Waters clash remained front of mind during his Sunday recovery.

"You know, if I had just started blowing up and getting angry… that doesn't help anyone, so it was nice to sort of recover and get back into a rhythm and pass some cars,” he said.

“[The championship] is pretty much what I was thinking about at that point, I knew that we needed to just keep pushing right until the last lap to try and give ourselves the best chance of not losing too many points.

“We did lose a lot of points, a lot of valuable points on Saturday, when it could have been a second or a third, which is huge for us and the teams' and, and especially for me and the drivers'."

Payne is seventh in the championship heading to the ITM Taupō Super400 on April 19-21.

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