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Dunlop Series grid locked in for Newcastle

02 Mar
A combined field 29 cars strong has been locked in
3 mins by James Pavey
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A combined field 29 cars strong has been locked in for the season-opening event of the Dunlop Super2 and Super3 Series’ at next weekend’s Thrifty Newcastle 500.

Since its inception in 2000, the Dunlop Super2 Series has become a critical stepping stone for drivers aspiring to race in the Repco Supercars Championship.

After joining forces with the Dunlop Super3 Series in 2020, the category has grown in strength and competitiveness, making it the perfect platform for young drivers to hone their skills and showcase their talents.

In 2023 the category will undergo major change, with drivers in the Dunlop Super2 Series to race ZB Commodores and Ford Mustang GTs, raced as recently as last year in the Repco Supercars Championship, with Car of the Future models moving to the Dunlop Super3 Series.

This year’s crop of young up and comers feature two-time Dunlop Super2 Series runner-up Zak Best, who scored a sensational pole as a wildcard in the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship, as well as former race winner Jay Robotham and returnees including Matt Chahda, Zane Morse, and Jay Hanson.

Jack Perkins

Australia’s top female Supercars driver, Elly Morrow, also returns to the field after a partial season in 2022.

Last year’s protagonists in the Super3 championship battle – champion Brad Vaughan and runner-up Kai Allen – make their step up to the Dunlop Super2 Series in 2023, while several historic names will join the grid looking to write their own history.

Sons of guns Nash Morris, Jack Perkins, and Aaron Seton return to the Super2 fold, while the likes of Mason Kelly, Jett Johnson, and Cameron McLeod will compete in the Dunlop Super3 Series.

After a decade-long absence, the famed Walkinshaw name will also return to the development series as Walkinshaw Andretti United fields a two-car effort in the Dunlop Super2 Series for Ryan Wood and Zach Bates.

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Fellow Repco Supercars Championship teams Tickford Racing, Erebus Motorsport, Brad Jones Racing, and Matt Stone Racing will also compete in the Dunlop Super2 or Super3 Series, while Blanchard Racing Team will field its first Super2 entry with Aaron Love behind the wheel of the No. 78 Ford Mustang.

Aaron Love

Nearly all current Repco Supercars Championship drivers have competed in the Dunlop Super2 Series, with some 23 of the 25 drivers on the Supercars grid having previously raced in the development series.

Of those, three drivers have graduated from the 2022 Super2 Series to make their Supercars debut in 2023: Kiwi Matt Payne, former Porsche Carrera Cup champion Cameron Hill, and reigning Dunlop Super2 Series champion Declan Fraser.

Fellow past champions on the 2023 Supercars grid include Mark Winterbottom (2003), Cam Waters (2015), Todd Hazelwood (2017), Bryce Fullwood (2019), Thomas Randle (2020), and Broc Feeney (2021).

Now in its 24th season, the Dunlop Super2 and Super3 Series’ have established a clear path to the Repco Supercars Championship, continuing to offer drivers, sponsors, and team personnel a direct route to the pinnacle of Australian motorsport.

Both series will race together at next weekend’s Thrifty Newcastle 500, contesting two races around the stunning streets of Newcastle to kick off the 2023 campaign.

Thrifty Newcastle 500 tickets are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.

Full Dunlop Series grid: Thrifty Newcastle 500

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