The penultimate Motorsport Australia State Awards, presented by Shannons Insurance, has been completed with a combined presentation for New South Wales and the ACT.
Like other states, the virtual awards ceremony was hosted by Cameron van den Dungen and was shown on Motorsport Australia’s social channels and website.
Celebrating the champions of all state-level competitions – the presentation honoured all the outright and class winners from each disciplines such as rally, off road, speed and auto tests and motor racing.
It also recognised clubs, volunteer officials who contributed immensely throughout the year and over a large period of time, and individuals who had stellar years behind the wheel.
Specific to just the NSW/ACT awards, there were three special awards presented to drivers, with the first being the Kevin Bartlett award, which is given to the most outstanding circuit driver of the year.
Taking out the award was Jack Pennacchia, who is a dedicated member of the RX8 Cup community both on and off the track.
Fellow RX8 Cup competitor Maisie Place was named as the Coral Taylor Award winner for her outstanding achievement in motorsport, which included heading up a three-car team in the RX8 Cup Series and a long-time teacher of the sport for almost four decades.
While both Place and Pennacchia are experienced campaigners, the final driver to be acknowledged for their 2022 season was teenager Costa Toparis, who picked up the Future Star gong.
Having charged through the Karting Australia ranks with a collection of silverware, Toparis enjoyed his international Formula 4 debut as part of the FIA Motorsport Games, as well as securing a seat with Carlin Motorsport for the GB3 Championship.
Moving to the other side of the fence, a handful of officials were recognised for their efforts to motorsport over a long period of time.
Taking out Service Awards were Alan Grix, Helen Mulholland and Les Taylor, while Gwyn Mulholland and Marion Baxter were named as the 2022 Service Stars.
From the Mulhollands, who have been involved in the NSW rallying community for more than 30 years, to a circuit mentor at national and state level in Grix to the ever-passionate off road official Marion Baxter – all have been longstanding contributors to the sport and their chosen disciplines.
The final officials award to be presented was the State Official of the Year Award, which was given to Rob O’Toole.
O’Toole has given a large portion of his time to the sport as a Steward, Clerk of Course and Scrutineer.
He has been a Steward for Supercars, the Asia Pacific Porsche Cup and the Bathurst 12 Hour, as well as off road, race meets, rally, hill climbs, cross country rally, motorkhana and Khanacross.
In addition to his event-work, he has also represented the FIAT Club of NSW and the Central North Coast Sporting Car Club on the state council for many years.
Outside of individual recognition, the state awards also paid tribute to four clubs who celebrated milestone years, as well as a further five clubs who became affiliated Motorsport Australia in 2022.
The Bathurst Light Car Club was also recognised for its efforts last year as it was awarded the State Event of the Year for its highly popular event, Speed Weekend.
Held at the famous Mount Panorama, Speed Weekend is made up of the Conrod Straight Supersprint and Mountain Straight Hillclimb – both attracting many competitors from around the state.
Click here to watch a replay of the NSW Awards.
The next and final Motorsport Australia State Awards presentation, presented by Shannons Insurance, will be the South Australia and Northern Territory Awards on Friday 3 March.