The Motorsport Australia National Awards, presented by Shannons Insurance, has made a triumphant return after a highly successful gala dinner took place for the first time since 2020.
A full house was on hand at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to witness a busy night of celebrations as the champions of 2022 were recognised for their stellar seasons, as well as acknowledging a number of motorsport stalwarts both on and off track.
From first-time champions such as Lewis Bates (Motorsport Australia Rally Championship) and Ryan Taylor (Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship) to multiple-title winners like three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen and back-to-back Motorkhana champion Aaron Wuillemin, there were plenty of deserving drivers across all disciplines celebrated.
In addition to the champions of 2022, a number of individuals were recognised for their contributions on and off the track throughout the night, including those who were awarded Life Membership.
Those honoured for their services to the sport with Life Memberships were Graeme Palmer, John Rosengrave, Dr Ryan Story, Roland Dane, Laurence Svenson and Derek Pingel, while both Brad and Kim Jones were given one of Motorsport Australia’s highest honours, the Membership of Honour.
Two individuals were awarded Life Membership for 2022 with the highly respected Ewan Cole and Roger Brown both recognised – Cole for being one of the country’s most senior officials and trainers and Brown for his natural leadership and problem-solving skills in demanding situations.
Another official honoured for his contributions to the sport was Bob Hockley, who was named as the 2022 Motorsport Australia Official of the Year.
A Motorsport Australia scrutineer since 1974, Hockley has often held a senior role at events around the country, many of which were as Chief Scrutineer at race meetings in his hometown of NSW or as a Technical Commissioner for a number of national categories.
In addition to his long-standing event work, Hockley has served as a NSW State Council Executive and is currently a member of the NSW Scrutiny Advisory Panel.
From the celebration of an experienced stalwart of the sport to two individuals at the start of what are likely to be long motorsport careers.
Named as the 2022 Peter Brock Medallist was Supercars driver Thomas Randle, while young rally star Taylor Gill was crowned as the Young Driver of the Year.
Both drivers have demonstrated the values emphasised by each award throughout their careers and have delivered when it comes to getting results.
Competing for more than a decade now, Randle is the more experienced driver of the two, enjoying an international stint against some of the best young talents from around the world before coming back to Australia where he overcame severe health setbacks to win the Dunlop Super2 Series in 2020.
Randle also secured third place in the 2021 Australian Drivers’ Championship, which paved the way for a move to Supercars where he had a first full-time season last year.
Gill on the other hand is about to embark on an international journey of his own.
Having progressed through motorkhanas, autocrosses and rallysprints before making a national rally debut in 2020, the teenager completed his first full season in the Motorsport Australia Rally Championship last year, which concluded with victory in the White Wolf Constructions ARC Production Cup.
Gill’s career highlight came in October though, where he won the FIA’s Rally Star Asia Pacific Final in India, securing a six international rally deal in a M-Sport prepared Ford Fiesta Rally3 – a massive boost to his dreams of one day competing in the FIA World Rally Championship.
A number of others were celebrated during the ceremony for their international achievements in 2022, including all eight members of Australia’s FIA Motorsport Games campaign, led by Gold Medallist Matt Campbell, and FIA 2022 Senior Official of the Year Christopher McMahon.
In addition to drivers and officials, members of the media were also acknowledged throughout the night.
West Australian Andrew van Leeuwen picked up two awards, the Motorsport Journalist of the Year and News Story of the Year, while rising star Jack Martin was named as the Photographer of the Year.
Canberran Peter Norton was awarded the Photo of the Year and popular motorsport news outlet V8 Sleuth was the winner of the Best Use of Digital Media for the third year in a row.
Motorsport Australia’s award season continues this month with virtual presentations of the Motorsport Australia State Awards, presented by Shannons Insurance, to be held in the coming weeks.
Motorsport Australia Award Winners List:
2022 Life Membership – Ewan Cole
2022 Life Membership – Roger Brown
2021 Life Membership – Graeme Palmer
2021 Life Membership – John Rosengrave
2021 Life Membership – Dr Ryan Story
2021 Life Membership – Roland Dane
2021 Life Membership – Laurence Svenson
2021 Life Membership – Derek Pingel
2021 Membership of Honour – Brad and Kim Jones
Service Award (Media) – Chris Nixon
Motorsport Journalist of the Year – Andrew van Leeuwen
News Story of the Year – Andrew van Leeuwen
Best Use of Digital Media – V8 Sleuth
Motorsport Photograph of the Year – Peter Norton
Motorsport Photographer of the Year – Jack Martin
Peter Brock Medal – Thomas Randle
Australian Motorsport Official of the Year – Bob Hockley
Young Driver of the Year – Taylor Gill
2022 FIA Motorsport Games Member: Aaron Cameron
2022 FIA Motorsport Games Member: Aiva Anagostiadis
2022 FIA Motorsport Games Member: Brenton Grove
2022 FIA Motorsport Games Member: Stephen Grove
2022 FIA Motorsport Games Member: Costa Toparis
2022 FIA Motorsport Games Member: Matt Campbell
2022 FIA Motorsport Games Member: Peter Bouzinelos
2022 FIA Motorsport Games Member: Philippa Boquida
FIA 2022 Senior Official of the Year: Christopher McMahon