The second Motorsport Australia State Awards night, presented by Shannons Insurance, has been held with Victoria celebrating the best of the best from 2022.
The online virtual presentation, hosted by Cameron van den Dungen, recognised all the winners from the state’s championships and series, as well as highlighting a number of individuals for their work on and off the track.
From Rally champion Adrian Stratford to Super Sprint Champion Adrian Jarvis to Circuit Excels winner Hugo Simpson, champions from all disciplines were celebrated.
When it came to presenting individual accolades, officials and event organisers made up most of the presentation’s special awards with eight individuals receiving Service Awards and Service Stars.
The first of the Service Star recipients was Owen Polanski, who was the Event Director for the Historic Rally Association's (HRA) Alpine Rally of East Gippsland from 2015, which became one of the largest and most prestigious rallies conducted in Australia under his stewardship.
Polanski wasn’t the only HRA representative and Alpine Rally of East Gippsland senior official to be awarded a Service Star.
IT guru Steve Hollowood was acknowledged for helping the club develop its website and steer its social media and event administration to a professional level over a 20-year period.
The next recipient in Michael Herlihy has been a loyal and dedicated servant to the MG Car Club and to motorsport as a whole, contributing as an official, competitor, motorsport administrator and leader in many areas, while Stuart Allen was the final official to be awarded as a Service Star.
Recognised for his constant involvement over a 60-year period, Allen first got involved in the 1960s as a 16-year-old and has remained as passionate ever since, actively encouraging the development of new officials.
The four Service Awards recipients were also highly deserving, including Mark Thompson for his direct part in the development of officials for the Victorian Flag Marshalling Team (VFT).
Thompson was also named as the 2022 Victorian State Official of the Year for his ever-present commitment to VFT since 2004.
“What an incredible honour it is to receive the Motorsport Australia official of the year awarded for 2022,” Thompson said.
“My heartfelt thanks goes out to all those people who nominated me.
“I’d like to make a big special thanks to my family for allowing me the opportunity to play in the sport that I passionately love and to the VFT. They are an incredible bunch of people that allow me to work as a senior marshal throughout motorsport.
"It's been an incredible journey.
"Also, a big special thanks to my mentors, Tony van den Dungen, David Bellenger, Rob Thiry and the late Skip Taylor for all their encouragement and wisdom over the years.
“I thank everybody from the bottom of my heart for this fabulous opportunity and this humbling honour."
Regular Victorian Fire and Rescue Squad Chief Fire Marshal & Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Russell Stork, Mario Pacifici for his diligence as a sector marshal and organiser of the course car team at the Australian Grand Prix and Tiffany Leech for her outstanding achievements as a timekeeper were the other three Service Award recipients.
The final individual to be rewarded during the presentation was Dunlop Super2 Series race winner Zak Best, who was named as the 2022 Future Star Award.
A number of clubs were also highlighted in the 2022 State Awards, headlined by the Western District Car Club who were awarded the Victorian Motorsport Event of the Year for its efforts with the Ada River Rally.
Other clubs to be acknowledged were those that hit major milestones including the Australian Sports Sedan Association Victoria, Ferrari Club Australia – Victoria committee and Pakenham Auto Club for 50 years, FPV & XR Owners Club of Victoria for 25 years and the Australian 5 Litre Touring Car Association for its 10-year operation.
Click here to view the replay.
The next awards night is the Queensland State Awards on Friday 26 February.
2022 Victorian Award Winners
Service Award Mark Thompson
Service Award Russell Stork
Service Award Mario Pacifici
Service Award Tiffany Leech
Service Star - Owen Polanski
Service Star - Michael Herlihy
Service Star - Steve Hollowood
Service Star - Stuart Allen
State Official of the Year - Mark Thompson
State Motorsport Event of the Year - Western District Car Club - Ada River Rally
Future Star Award - Zak Best
50 year milestone-
Australian Sports Sedan Association Victoria
Ferrari Club Australia – Victoria committee
Pakenham Auto Club
25 year milestone
FPV & XR Owners Club of Victoria
10 year milestone
Australian 5 Litre Touring Car Association.