Tasmania recognises state’s best

Sunday 09 February, 2020
Photo: Phillip Biggs

The Tasmanian Motorsport Australia State Awards, presented by Burson Auto Parts, on Saturday has seen up to 50 individuals share the spotlight in what was an evening of celebration.

Taking place at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston, champion drivers and co-drivers across a range of disciplines received their silverware for their brilliant seasons in 2019.

While all drivers got a chance to share the stories behind their title success, a select few received a prestigious award to add to their collection.

After claiming the honour of being the highest point scorer in the Motorsport Australia Tasmanian Circuit Racing Series last year, Stephen Noble was awarded with the Jeff Ransley Perpetual Trophy, while Hyundai Excel Racing Tasmania regular Joshua Webster was named as the Ron & Ivy McDonald Circuit Racing Trophy recipient.

Young Karting graduate Callum Bishop had an impressive year in Formula Vees and people stood up and took notice of the 15-year-old, voting him the best new talent among first year competitors and a deserving winner of the Ling Rookie Perpetual Trophy.

It wasn’t Bishop’s only time on stage during the evening though as he was also named as the Burson Future Star Award winner – making 2019 a season to remember for the youngster.

As Bishop was rewarded for his future in the sport, an experienced and popular driver in Craig Twining was recognised for his efforts in the Tasmanian Hyundai Excel Series.

Named as the Peter Bondy Trophy recipient, Twining had endured a tough season where he faced adversity due to limited resources in the category, but still managed to race hard, especially at the Baskerville 1000.

Often touted as one of the biggest state circuit events in Tasmania, the Baskerville 1000 attracted competitors from all over the country, bringing the best out of a variety of categories. Last year’s edition sparked a lot of praise from competitors and spectators, which saw it honoured as the State Event of the Year.

While many drivers were celebrated for their performances on track, three individuals were honoured as the top in their specific discipline. The three awards saw Otis Cordwell take out Circuit Person of the Year, Joshua Marshall claim the Off Road Person of the Year and Ben Newman named as Rally Person of the Year.

For her work as a respected administrator and exceeding the expectations of her peers throughout last year, Christine Potter was rewarded with the Paddy and Enid Baker Perpetual Trophy, while Michelle Fish was another woman to be awarded throughout the evening, taking out the prestigious Police Commissioner Perpetual Trophy.

Having spent many years in the sport as both a competitor and official, Fish established herself as leading driver in Tasmanian Formula Vee during the 1990s, securing a runner-up in 1991 and winning the series three years later.

She has also been instrumental in supporting the Khanacross junior development programs and overseeing an increase in participation amongst grassroots as the secretary Southern Tasmania Women for Wheels Association.