It’s been an evening of celebration at the Holiday Inn Warwick Farm in Sydney for the 2019 NSW/ACT Motorsport Australia State Awards, presented by Burson Auto Parts.
As all the champions were rewarded with their silverware from what was a busy 2019 season, the evening also paid tribute to individuals who went above and beyond for the sport, both on and off the track.
It was a big night for North Shore Sporting Car Club president Brett Middleton who found himself twice on stage after picking up the State Official of the Year Award and the Judith Rae award.
After more than 40 years involved in motorsport, Middleton has worked tirelessly to grow rally within the state at both a state and local level, as well as being an official who has helped many with ongoing training opportunities.
Middleton’s club was also recognised for the State Event of the Year, with the Whiteline Twilight Rallysprint taking out the honour.
The five-round series, which reaches capacity every round, takes place at Sydney Dragway and allows experienced and novice drivers an opportunity to race in a competitive and fun environment.
Another award recipient to come from rally was Coral Taylor Award winner Adriana Pallister. The award which recognises outstanding achievements by a woman in the sport was given to the regular rally co-driver for serving on multiple club committees, including NSW Rally Panel, as well as being the secretary of multiple state events.
It wasn’t just experienced rally officials to be celebrated over the course of the event as Pallister’s daughter Anna took out the Junior Official of the Year Award for her work at several rally events.
Outside of being a key member of the administrative team at rally events, Pallister was well respected by many competitors and fellow officials for her courteous attitude and well-presented manner.
Staying in the rally scene, karting regular and Young Driver Program graduate Taylor Gill was named as the Burson Future Star Award winner after a string of solid results in club rallysprints. He was also praised for his ability to continue learning and improve his skills on the track.
One of Gills’ rally sprint competitors throughout the year was also celebrated with Luke King crowned the Colin Bond Award winner – an award recognising competitive success and versatility across different disciplines.
While King was part of the 2019 Whiteline Tarmac Rally Sprint Series, the Sport Central Coast’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year finalist also excelled in circuit racing, finishing second overall in the Toyota 86 Series and an LMP3 LeMans Series Event in China.
Fellow circuit racer Steven Lacey was rewarded with the Kevin Bartlett Award for his achievements in 2019, which made him the state’s most outstanding circuit driver of the year.
Outside of tasting success in supersprints and hill climb events, Lacey’s biggest prize last year was winning back-to-back NSW Sports Sedan outright titles.
Some of the final awards to be handed out throughout the evening were the Motorsport Australia Service Awards and four individuals were acknowledged for their efforts in the sport.
Phillip East was awarded due to his involvement in the sport for more than 60 years, while Howard Grove was recognised for his 45 years of service to the North Shore Sporting Car Club as a club administrator.
Dianne Mawer was awarded her Service Award for the 20-years of dedication to multiple categories including the NSW Road Racing Club and Historic Sports and Racing Car Association.
The fourth service award went to long-time competitor Peter Harris who also dedicated many years as an official and an organiser of motorsport events.