Why WAU is returning to Super2

  • Repco Supercars Championship Dunlop Super2 Series
  • |
  • 16/12/2022
  • By James Pavey

Walkinshaw Andretti United is determined to use its Super2 return as a pathway for both drivers and team staff.

WAU announced Thursday that it will contest the 2023 Dunlop Super2 Series.

The team will campaign two Commodores, with teenager Zach Bates locked in for his Super2 debut.

Bates is the son of former World Rally Championship driver and Supercars driver Rick Bates.

WAU last raced in Super2 in 2012 under the Walkinshaw Racing banner.

It set up the long full-time Supercars career of Nick Percat, who has been on the main game grid since 2014.

WAU is keen to not only develop Bates in the same vein, but other team staff in their professional pursuits.

Notably, long-time WAU engineer Rob Starr will be Team Manager, while Warren Luff will be Driver Development Advisor.

Bates, 18, will lead WAU's Super2 comeback

“We are so excited to have Zach Bates join us in our Super2 programme for 2023,” WAU Team Principal Bruce Stewart said.

“He is such an impressive young man in every aspect.

“Returning to the Dunlop Super2 Championship has been a big focus of ours, but only with the right people involved.

"It’s a really important pathway for not only Zach and other drivers, but staff as well, from mechanics, engineers.

“It creates a pathway for a variety of different roles within our sport, so we are rapt to be competing, and to have Zach representing us.”

WAU’s return is part of a shaken-up Super3 grid for 2023.

Triple Eight, Matt Stone Racing and Grove Racing have all departed — but Tickford Racing has expanded to two cars, with Blanchard Racing Team entering a car.

Brad Jones Racing and Erebus Motorsport (via Image Racing) are also set to continue, and Matt Chahda Motorsport is also keen to expand to two cars.

Tickford will also run two cars in 2023

Eggleston Motorsport — having acquired Team 18’s 2022 Supercars — has promoted Super3 title challenger Kai Allen.

Then there’s MW Motorsport, which has yet to confirm its 2023 plans.

The competition offers a stern challenge for the returning WAU, but Stewart believes all the right people have been chosen to spearhead the team’s comeback.

“Importantly, we have some incredibly talented people involved, with Rob Starr leading the programme, with over 32 years of experience in our team,” Stewart said.

“As well as Luffy there to help guide and nurture the young drivers with everything they have to deal with across the season… who better to learn from.

"We are really excited to see Zach develop in 2023, I’m sure his talent will become clear to all pretty quickly.”

The Supercars and Super2 seasons will commence in Newcastle next March.

Tickets are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.

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