Paul Tinning’s XP Falcon wins 2022 Laurie Starling Engineering Excellence award

Paul Tinning's wild XP Falcon was named the 2022 recipient of the Laurie Starling Engineering Excellence Award at MotorEx on the weekend

Photographers: Ellen Dewar, Chris Thorogood

It has been eight years since we lost ace car builder and Summernats judge, Laurie Starling, but his legacy continues to burn strongly in the public imagination thaks to two very special awards.

Firstly, the Laurie Starling Memorial Scholarship has proved to a be a wildly successful project and has enabled some of Australia’s best and brightest youngsters to take the car crafting skills to the next level.

The scholarship is supported by Milwaukee and is presented each year at the Street Machine of the Year VIP event.

And secondly, a winner of Laurie Starling Engineering Excellence award is chosen each year at Meguiar’s MotorEx.

This award is chosen each year by panel made up of Laurie’s nearest and dearest with the simple commission to find the car that best captures Laurie’s passion for engineering and attitude.

And this year’s winner had plenty of both: Paul Tinning’s twin-turbo, V10-powered XP Falcon.

“This year the panel consisted of Laurie’s dad Rob, his brother Jamie and myself,” said MotorEx’s Owen Webb.

“Laurie’s workmate at the Chop Shop Aaron Gregory is usually a part of the process, but he couldn’t make it to MotorEx this year.

“We all agreed that the XP is the car Laurie would have wanted to take home – it is everything he would have loved; outrageous attitude and full of clever engineering,” says Owen.

Paul, who brought the XP all the way from Darwin to be unveiled at MotorEx. was stoked to receive the gong:

“Owen told us to come down to the Shannon’s stage at 3pm on Saturday, but we had no idea what it was for, says Paul.

“Then they announced it and I couldn’t believe it! It was a great feeling, out of all the trophies you can win, this one is very special.

And what’s next for the XP?

“We’re hoping to have the car at Gazzanats 21 August and Owen reckons we have to be at Red CentreNATS, so we’ll see how we go [laughs].

Laurie Starling Award winners

2022: Paul Tinning, XP Falcon

2019: Angelo Furaro, VC Valiant

2018: Mark Harris ’40 Chev pickup 2018

2017: Mike King XM Falcon 2017

2016: Mick Ellard Rodeo 2016

2015: Mal Apps FC Holden 2015