Five storylines to watch at the Taupō Super400

18 Apr
Ahead of an historic weekend show in New Zealand, we look at some of the talking points heading to Taupō

After a long wait, New Zealand is back on the big stage, with Supercars back with an all-new circuit in Taupō.

Plenty has happened in the four-week break after the Grand Prix, with no story creating as many waves as the comeback of the reigning champion.

However, the triumphant return of Supercars racing in Aotearoa is the biggest headline of all, and a new battleground is set to host what could prove a key round in the hunt for the 2024 championship

Ahead of an historic show in New Zealand, we look at some of the talking points heading to the inaugural ITM Taupō Super400.

Brodie’s back


The biggest story between the Grand Prix and New Zealand came on the eve of the latter, with Erebus Motorsport confirming 2023 champion Brodie Kostecki will return to the grid. Kostecki missed the first two rounds, and has had just one test day at Winton Motor Raceway to his name this year. There's no doubt Kostecki and Erebus will be in the spotlight this weekend, complete with the #1 on the window. The final piece of the puzzle is the driver's performance when the pressure is on, and despite the rumblings, Erebus CEO Barry Ryan has stated Kostecki as "done his homework" ahead of his comeback. Where the reigning champ will end up at Taupō will be a major talking point across the weekend.

Bulls on parade

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The battle between Will Brown and Broc Feeney is just getting started, with the championship lead changing hands three times in six races across the first two rounds. It will be a miracle if the two Triple Eight drivers stay out of each other's way for the rest of the year, and Taupō will certainly play a key role in where the orange numbers head next. Feeney has already stated mistakes will be a factor, and should the Triple Eight duo stumble, Chaz Mostert is just 97 points behind...


Ford's hopes for no more Blue Oval blues

Race Radio 2024: Waters and Payne collide at AGP

The Grand Prix was chastening weekend for the Blue Oval, which remains winless in 2024 despite Ford drivers scoring three of the four pole positions on offer in Melbourne. The final two races began with Ford drivers colliding disputing the lead, with Chevrolet drivers benefiting. Cam Waters has already called on his Ford rivals to race "smarter" as they take the fight to the Camaro army, while Tickford boss Simon Brookhouse says teams haven't yet come together to calm affairs between Mustang drivers. Can they stay away from each other on track at Taupō?

Percat's form

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Nick Percat and Matt Stone Racing were worthy winners in Melbourne after a stunning start to the season that has the 2011 Bathurst winner fourth in the points. With six straight top 10s in two, MSR can't take its foot off the pedal, with Percat suddenly looming as an outside hope to fight for the championship.

The newest local heroes

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This weekend is a major chance for one of five Kiwi drivers to stake their claim as the 'next' New Zealand star in Supercars, after Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin carved out impressive legacies. The next in line appears to Matt Payne, who in the last six months, has claimed an Adelaide 500 win, sprint race podiums and a maiden pole positions. However, Andre Heimgartner has yet to show his best in 2024, Richie Stanaway is going from strength to strength, and rookie Ryan Wood and Jaxon Evans are just getting started. The future could already be here...

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