As 2023 winds down, Supercars.com is looking over all 11 teams and their performances in this year's Repco Supercars Championship, continuing with Walkinshaw Andretti United.
The run into 2023 for Walkinshaw Andretti United was centred on the team's blockbuster move to the Blue Oval, with WAU leaving behind three decades of General Motors history to join Ford.
Chaz Mostert opened the year with two Newcastle podiums and the championship lead, so the change looked to have struck gold from the outset.
As the rounds wore on, Erebus Motorsport and Triple Eight emerged as the leading teams, with Mostert waiting until Townsville for another podium. Even then, WAU battled with consistency amid ongoing parity questions.
Mostert, though, remained WAU's shining light, and he finished the second strongly and stole fourth overall from under the nose of outgoing Erebus driver Will Brown. He he not suffered DNFs in Tasmania and Townsville, and the car been damaged early at Sandown, Mostert could have finished second overall, such was his consistency.
It may have been a second winless season in four years at WAU for Mostert, but coming home the lead Ford driver was a key pillar of pride for the team, which proved time and again in 2023 that it should never be discounted.
Season results and head-to-heads
Drivers' finish: Chaz Mostert 4th, Nick Percat 20th
Teams' finish: 6th
Best result: 2nd (Chaz Mostert four times)
Qualifying head to head: Chaz Mostert 24, Nick Percat 4
Race head to head: Chaz Mostert 24, Nick Percat 4
What’s next in 2024?
WAU has high standards, and expects nothing short of race wins. A winless season will have hurt, so there's little doubt that the team will come out of the blocks firing in 2024.
Mostert always gives his best, and on his day, is the best driver in the field. Few drivers made up more positions in 2023 than the two-time Bathurst winner, who is desperate to return to victory lane in 2024.
WAU welcomes Kiwi rookie Ryan Wood, who set the Dunlop Series alight with several epic drives through the field after a number of poor starts. Wood, who just turned 20, never missed a chance for a divebomb, and when he got the lead, he left his rivals for dust.
WAU will be hoping Wood adapts to the Gen3 Mustang quickly, and should that be the case, the New Zealander could find himself in the thick of the action.
There is also the question mark over Mostert's first season without long-time engineer Adam De Borre, who is stepping away from Supercars. Mostert and WAU welcome former Tickford Racing engineer Sam Scaffidi, who previously worked with James Courtney.
WAU has the ingredients of success, and the team knows how to win. Armed with a rookie, a determined Mostert and, critically, parity, WAU could well be on the way to big things in '24.