January 11, 2019
Two New Zealand motorsport stars – five-time IndyCars champion Scott Dixon and the 2018 Australian Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin – have been selected as finalists for the Sportsman of the Year title in the 56th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards.
The prestigious awards celebrate and honour sporting achievements from 2018, with organisers the Halberg Foundation announcing 27 finalists for six categories on 10 January 2019.
Dixon, based in Indianapolis, US, and Queensland, Australia-based McLaughlin are up against champion shot-putter Tom Walsh and free-skier Nico Porteous in the sportsmen’s category.
“It’s a significant day for New Zealand motorsport, having two motorsport competitors named as finalists in our country’s preeminent sporting awards,” says MotorSport New Zealand President Wayne Christie.
“We’re absolutely delighted for both Scotts to have their achievements in international motorsport recognised in this way,” says Christie.
“They are both exceptional competitors, and fantastic ambassadors for our sport at home and overseas.”
Dixon has previously won the Sportsman of the Year award in 2008 and 2013, and has also been a finalist in 2003, 2009 and 2015.
In 2016 three Kiwi motorsport competitors were nominated for this award in the same year – namely, Hayden Paddon and John Kennard following their first World Rally Championship round win, and Shane van Gisbergen for winning the Supercars championship – but none were selected as finalists. Mitch Evans is the other most recent nominee, in 2013, in recognition of his GP3 Championship title.
The Halberg Awards judges reviewed a record 93 nominations to find the finalists’ list, recognising achievements in 2018 up to 30 November. The winners will be announced at the 56th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards held on Thursday 21 February 2019 at Spark Arena in Auckland and televised live on SKY SPORT from 8.00pm. More information is available at https://www.halbergawards.co.nz/.