The introduction of Gen2 Supercars into the Dunlop Series didn’t disappoint as the second- and third-tier categories commenced their 2023 seasons.
The 2023 Super2 and Super3 title fights began in earnest at last weekend’s Thrifty Newcastle 500.
It was the first race weekend for Super2 with Gen3 Supercar machinery, with the ZB Commodore and Mustang GT sharing the wins.
It was Zak Best — with new team Anderson Motorsport — who flew out of the blocks on Friday, before winning Sunday’s race.
It was Best’s first win for Anderson Motorsport, the team’s first race and round win, and the first for the Gen2 Mustang in the Dunlop Series.
A day earlier, Cooper Murray scored his first ARMOR ALL Pole Position and converted to victory in Race 1.
It was Eggleston Motorsport’s first pole since Adelaide 2020, and first win since Adelaide 2020 — both by current main game driver Brodie Kostecki.
Sunday also saw the first ARMOR ALL Pole for Ryan Wood, who forms one half of Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Super2 line-up.
Wood helped WAU to its first Super2 pole since Nick Percat in 2012.
Best’s Race 2 victory came ahead of another rookie in Aaron Love, who in just his second Super2 start, finished second.
Love’s result also helped Blanchard Racing Team to a top-two race finish in what was the team’s Super2 debut.
Best’s fifth round win tied him with current Tickford star Cam Waters, with Murray second for the round.
L-R: McLeod, Stewart, Gilroy
Third was Image Racing teen Jay Hanson, who scored his first ever Super2 podium.
The Super3 results were even more jumbled, with third-generation driver Cameron McLeod — another rookie — taking both poles and the Race 2 class win.
McLeod was fifth in Race 1, which was won by Image Racing young gun Jobe Stewart — who claimed his first Super2 race and round win.
Ryan Gilroy was third for the round, marking his first Super3 podium.
Of the 20 Super2 cars entered in Newcastle, there were nine rookies — Murray, Love, Wood, Kai Allen, Zach Bates, Jordan Sinni, Brad Vaughan, Callum Walker and Lochie Dalton.
There were six Super3 rookies — McLeod, Stewart, Gilroy, Matthew McCutcheon, Jett Johnson and Mason Kelly.
The 2023 Dunlop Series season will continue at the Perth SuperSprint on April 28-30.