Speedcafe.com's Mat Coch and Dirk Klynsmith have been recognised for their top-drawer efforts by taking out Motorsport Australia 2020 Media Awards.
Coch, 37, has been a permanent writer for Speedcafe.com since 2018, predominantly specialising in covering international motorsport categories headlined by Formula 1.
His work throughout last year culminated in being crowned journalist of the year by Motorsport Australia.
“Mat worked tirelessly across 2020 to produce a number of well-researched pieces that highlighted a strong understanding of the state of play across a range of motorsport disciplines,” read the judges' comments.
“It was evident that Mat has a strong network of contacts across motorsport which helped inform his body of work.”
Speedcafe.com owner and founder Brett Murray praised Coch.
“We have enjoyed having Mat as part of our award-winning team,” said Murray.
“He has a strong knowledge and understanding of the F1 world and that is a valuable asset.
“His leadership of the team during last year's Australian F1 Grand Prix debacle was outstanding and it is nice to see him recognised by the national body for his efforts.”
Coch himself described the award as an honour.
“I'd like to thank Motorsport Australia for this award,” said Coch.
“I am extremely proud and humbled to have my name on a list with others whose work I hold in such high regard.
“Thanks must go to Brett Murray and my colleagues at Speedcafe.com.
“I look forward to keeping up the hard work throughout 2021 and beyond.”
Among other key award winners was recently retired Speedcafe.com photographer Klynsmith, who took out Motorsport Australia photographer of the year.
“Dirk's impressive 2020 portfolio was the standout nomination in a very strong field of talented photographers,” read the judges' comments.
“Dirk also announced his retirement from full-time photography in 2020, with the multi-award winner deserving of yet another honour.”
Klynsmith added, “I'm pretty chuffed. I've announced my retirement so to be photographer of the year in my final year of doing motorsport photography is pretty special really.
“Given the difficulty of last year with limited events and then being at the events with limited access – for instance for two or three events I didn't have pitlane access – it was hard work.
“So to have been able to get a group of photographs together to portray the sport in the glory that it is, I think it's a pretty good effort.”
Motorsport Australia president Andrew Fraser congratulated the various award recipients.
“Once again the judges were impressed by the extensive work of the motorsport media throughout 2020 and impressed by the standard of nominations received,” Fraser said.
“The high calibre of nominations didn't make the judging easy, but it goes to show how strong the motorsport media industry is in.
“Congratulations to all our media award recipients on their efforts throughout the past 12 months, in a year where journalism, photography and digital media presented our nominees with some very unique challenges.
“The innovation and hard work that was nominated highlights the outstanding efforts of our working media, from grassroots through to our biggest international categories.”
2020 Motorsport Australia Media Award winners
Photograph of the year: Andrew Eaton, Dakar Press Team Australia
Photographer of the year: Dirk Klynsmith, Dirk Klynsmith Photography
Best use of digital media: Aaron Noonan, V8 Sleuth
Story of the year: Mark Fogarty, Auto Action – Why Penske quit Supercars
Journalist of the year: Mat Coch, Speedcafe.com
Special award for outstanding media contribution in challenging circumstances: Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographics