The Ford squad hopes it can promote the promising Porsche ace all the way to first-tier Supercars next season as a replacement for outgoing driver Andre Heimgartner.
That’s despite Payne having only completed a single Supercars test, the teenager sampling both a Nissan Altima and Ford Mustang at Winton recently as part of a driver evaluation.
He is also in just his first season of car racing, although has tasted success in both Toyota Racing Series, in which he won the title, and Carrera Cup in Australia.
For the ambitious promotion to come off, Payne will need an exemption to be granted a Superlicence.
While hitting the required points by the end of this year is a feasible prospect, there is no way he can compete in enough Super2 rounds to qualify without intervention from the governing body.
That exemption has now been formally sought, Motorsport Australia confirming to Motorsport.com that: “We can confirm we have received the application. This application will be jointly considered by Motorsport Australia and the Supercars Commission in the coming weeks.”
An exemption, if received in time, could potentially pave the way for Payne to make his main game debut as soon as this December at the Bathurst 1000.
Heimgartner is currently without a confirmed partner for the Great Race after Earl Bamber was forced out due to a scheduling conflict.
There is no guarantee of a positive outcome to the exemption, though, Motorsport Australia having turned down Nathan Herne’s similar request for a Bathurst 1000 seat this time last year.
Regardless of the outcome, Payne is expected to continue with his Carrera Cup duties for the remainder of the season, as well as make Super2 starts in Sydney and Bathurst as part of his Grove Junior Team deal.