Australia-bound Payne wins Toyota Racing Series title

Matthew Payne

Matthew Payne has claimed the Castrol Toyota Racing Series crown just a month out from making his Porsche Carrera Cup Australia debut.

The Kiwi capped off the three-round championship with three wins from four races at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon in Feilding.

The young gun fell shy of sweeping the weekend after copping two five-second penalties for separate infringements in Race 3.

Payne incurred the first penalty after lining up outside of his grid and received the second for an infringement under Safety Car.

In what was a dominant performance, Payne fell just short of having a large enough margin. In the end, his nine-second advantage was cut, relegating him to second behind Billy Frazer.

Payne’s championship win was made all the more impressive as one of the least experienced road racers in the category.

Prior to contesting this year’s Toyota Racing Series, Payne has just six Formula Ford starts to his name.

However, the youngster has a handful of national karting championships to his credit and multiple international starts.

“It’s been such a crazy year, coming back from Europe last year after karting finished, then getting into a car has been difficult,” said Payne.

“This series has been so good, and I’ve learned a lot.”

Payne will join Earl Bamber Motorsport in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia this year in an entry supported by Porsche New Zealand.

“The endurance racing side of it is where I want to head,” Payne added. “Le Mans and Daytona are definitely races I want to compete in and get some good results.

“For now it’s off to Australia to see what I can do there.”

2021 Castrol Toyota Racing Series standings:

Pos. Driver Points
1 Matthew Payne 287
2 Kaleb Ngatoa 229
3 Billy Frazer 201
4 Conrad Clark 183
5 Peter Vodanovich 167
6 Chris Vlok 149
7 Shane van Gisbergen 105
8 Tom Alexander 75
9 Chris van der Drift 71
10 Damon Leitch 54
11 Andre Heimgartner 51
12 Brendon Leitch 44
13 Daniel Gaunt 36
14 Josh Bethune 23
15 Greg Murphy 22
16 Ken Smith 12

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