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MotorSports NT News

The Northern Territory (NT) Sports Awards recognise the achievements of athletes, coaches, sporting officials and volunteers.

Within the Motorsports Arena we see five nominees, Motorsport NT congratulate all nominees on your achievements through 2021 and wish you all the best luck.
If you would like to support your local sporting legend, the 2022 NT Sports Awards ceremony will be held on Saturday 28 May from 6:30pm to 11pm at the Deckchair Cinema in Darwin.
Dress code is cocktail and tickets are $100. This includes a 4-hour food and drinks package.



UP and coming NT youngster River Spitzbarth has been gaining a lot of exposure and experience down in the southern states of South Australia and Victoria.

Cilla sat down with River to have a chat before he heads down to the National Junior Sedan Titles this month in Victoria.


How did you get into MotorSports?
To be honest my Dad, I can remember being around some sort of Motorsports from a young age and just love the sound of a revving engine.


Who is your Favourite Driver/Rider?
Mmm, there is so many great drivers that I can't pick a favourite!!! 


What are your greatest achievements or memories?
Until my recent feature win at Hamilton, I would have to say getting the NT3last year along with winning the 2021 Tennant Creek Title.


What do you want to be doing in five years?
My dream is to be racing street stocks and with the support from my parents, family and sponsors I can see me achieving this.


How do you feel about heading to Victoria for your first Nationals?
I am excited but nervous though I will have my Mum and Dad with me and it will be a great experience.


River is the only NT representative heading to the National Titles, MSNT wishes him and his team the best of luck and above all just have fun and stay safe!

Congratulations to Jeff Sutton who was presented his MSNT Life Membership Award this week by our MSNT President. Jeff has an outstanding NT motorsports history and his involvement in TERRA, Superbikes and support of other Clubs, Officials and Competitors is noted and highly appreciated. Well done Jeff and well deserved, we thank you!

Tony brings a wealth of experience to the Executive Office role having served in many executive roles in the past including, as an Assistant Minister for Sport.

Tony is no stranger to Motorsports having developed a passion for the sport at a very young age and watching his mother race an EH Holden in Victoria. He followed the Speedway, Calder Park Drags and Supercars, completed a Motor Mechanic Apprentice Ship with the Victorian Police Workshops and went to trade school with Supercars champion Mark Skaife. Tony raced speedway cars and motorbikes in South Australia, eventually moving to Alice Springs where he became involved in the Go Kart Club and his own children today carry on the tradition in MotoX.

"It is such an honour to be able to give back to motorsports in the Northern Territory. Motorsports are a family that I have grown up in, it is full of hard-working members, volunteers and passionate fans”.

“I am excited about our future and will work hard with our Affiliates, Members, Sponsors, Media and Board to continue moving forward, grow our events, develop our sport and support our juniors, seniors and our people."

Motorsport NT President Gary Pendlebury congratulated Tony on being appointed as the new Executive Officer Motorsports NT. “Tony has been a strong advocate for Motorsports NT over many years, our members and volunteers have always enjoyed a great working relationship with Tony and we look forward to continuing this work with him as our Executive Officer of Motorsports NT”.

Tony commenced his Executive Officer position on the 7th February 2020.


Congratulations to Grant Hamon in being recognised in the NT Roll of Honour at the NT Sports Awards on Saturday night.
Grant has a history in motor sport dating back more than 30 years, both as a competitor and a sports administrator.
Some of his Achievements:
Grant was the driving force behind the innovation of MotorSports NT as a recognised Peak Body for motor sport across the Northern Territory.
Successfully lobbying of Government to commit funding in excess of $40M across Territory motor sports since the formation of MotorSports NT.
Grant’s services to the wider community and to motor sports was exceptional and he spent inordinate amounts of time mentoring and coaching other administrators and committee members to better their clubs.
In 2015/2016, Grant had been instrumental in negotiating multi-million dollar funding arrangements for the 17 Territory-wide MotorSports affiliated organisations at the time for the next 4 year period to 2020.
There is no doubt that motor sport in the Northern Territory would not be in such a fantastic position as it is today without Grant’s contribution.

Check out the video of Darwin Junior Sedans Rising Star - Bailey Jones. Bailey is aiming to be enrolled in the Speedway Australia Rising Star program and was interviewed recently by MotorSports NT President & Northline Speedway Chief Steward, Gary Pendlebury.

Click here to view

The second NT Motorsport Awards has taken place on 15th February, 2020 at the Mindil Beach Casino Resort in Darwin, celebrating 2019 achievements.

Together with Motorsport Australia, MotorSports NT, acknowledged various drivers from each discipline, as well as volunteers and officials.

Starting off the evening was the acknowledgment of three Motorsport Australia Service Award winners in Shane Davidson, Vicki Rice and Adriaan Gerritson – all of whom had successfully contributed to the sport.

The three service award winners were followed by awards for 20 clubs recognising specific individuals who had gone above and beyond at their events during 2019 and previous years before.

From the Top End Drift Association's Scott Grosskopf to the Alice Springs Off Road Race Club's Nina Kells, outstanding individuals from each of the NT based clubs were celebrated for their work in contributing to their discipline.

A further nine people were also awarded with Club Administrator Awards, thanks to their diligence and organisational skills in facilitating clubs events throughout the year, with Jacalin Ekins from the Darwin Speedway Riders & Drivers Association headlining these individual award winners as the outright NT Club Administrator of the Year.

On top of Ekins' involvement with her club as a passionate official and administrator, she also played a key part in running the highly successful 2019 NT State Event of the Year - the Chariots of Thunder.

One of the biggest Sprintcar events in Australia, the four-day event saw a 70 per cent increase in participation during 2019 and an impressive 11,000 spectators, while fans could also watch the event via a free broadcast.

Ekins found herself on stage a third time following her triumph as an official and event organiser, as she was also named as the NT Motorsport Person of the Year.

Taking centre stage alongside Ekins as a highly praised official was 2019 Official of the Year, Gavin Thompson.

From being a veteran Clerk of Course at many race meetings, developing and increasing his club's membership numbers and the training of new officials, Thompson was a deserving recipient of the award.

While Thompson was praised for his many years of service, on the opposite end of the scale was 13-year-old Jorja Thompson who took out the Junior Official of the Year title for her role in assisting with the running of each of the North Australian Motor Sports Club's race meetings throughout the year.

Outside of all the volunteers getting time in the spotlight, 15 drivers across all disciplines were also rewarded for their stellar 2019 seasons with Circuit Driver of the Year winner David Ling and Off Road Driver of the Year recipient Alex Heinzel amongst the winners highlighted during the evening.

Less than a week out from his Virgin Australia Supercars Championship debut as a full-time driver, Bryce Fullwood was named as the 2019 Burson Future Star Award winner for his incredible season in the Dunlop Super2 Series, which saw the 21-year-old dominate the talented field of drivers


Here is the full list of recipients.

Award Winners
Service Awards
Shane Davidson
Vicki Rice
Adriaan Gerritson

MSNT Volunteer Awards
Acacia Hills Motocross Association – Natasha Langkowski
Arunga Park Speedway Association – Darren Greening
Alice Springs Karting Club – Kevin Rawlins
Alice Springs Off Road Race Club – Nina Kells
Central Australian Drag Racing Association – Stephen Greenfield
Central Australian Rally Sports Club – Ben Kittle
Darwin Karting Association – Tracey Driscoll
Darwin Motor Cycle Club – Jeff Klein
Darwin Speedway Riders & Drivers Association – Hannah Bairstow
Hidden Valley Drag Racing Association – John Brown
Katherine Motor Sports Club – Kade 'Bluey' Robertson
North Australian Motor Sports Club – Ross Salmon
Nhulunbuy Speedway – Harry Walker
Top End Drift Association – Scott Grosskopf
Top End Dirt Karts – Steve Driver
Top End Motocross Club – Kylie Verity
Top End Mud Racing Association – Alex 'Bambi' Ormsby
Top End Road Racing Association – Alan Tilbrook
Territory Quad Association – Darren Lavercombe
Alice Springs Motor Cycle Club – Kenny Armstead

NT Junior Official of the Year
Jorja Thompson

NT Official of the Year
Gavin Thompson

Club Administrator Awards
North Australian Motor Sports Club – David Ling
Top End Drift Association – Chloe Baehnisch
Improved Production Racing – Jake Burgess
Top End Motocross Club – Tania Rice
Darwin Motorcycle Club – Jeff Klein
Territory Quad Association – Angie Lavercombe
Arunga Park Speedway Association – Nicky Jettner
Darwin Speedway Riders & Drivers Association – Jacalin Ekins
Burnout Association of Darwin – Rebecca Harris

NT Club Administrator of the Year
Jacalin Ekins

NT Rider/Driver of the Year
Speedway Driver of the Year – Scott Leonhardt
Rally Driver of the Year – Jamie Lawson
Road Bike Rider of the Year – Peter Troon
Motorkhana/Khanacross Driver of the Year – Jamie Smith
Karter of the Year – Steve Howell
Quad Rider of the Year – Deegan Sherwood
Motocross Rider of the Year – Jayden O'Connor
Off Road Driver of the Year – Alex Heinzel
Mud Racing Driver of the Year – Ted Roderick
Drag Racer of the Year – Steven Ariston
Circuit Driver of the Year – David Ling
Drifter of the Year – Mitchell Doyle
Enduro Rider of the Year – Shane Saunders
Burnout Driver of the Year – Chaise Bouchere

Burson Future Star Award
Bryce Fullwood

NT Motorsport Event of the Year
Chariots of Thunder

NT Motorsport Person of the Year
Jacalin Ekins

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