Wood's Dunlop Series form guide

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 11/10/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

For Dale Wood, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 was key to his Dunlop Series title win.

Now, he pilots the Team Advam/GB Commodore as part of the Brad Jones Racing fold and has scored his first V8 Supercars podium at Winton, and later today willtry to go one better than qualifying and nab a front row start for the Great Race in his first ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout.

He partners Chris Pither in the Pirtek Enduro Cup - who earlier this year scored his first Dunlop Series win and qualified second for today's Wilson MedicOne Enduro - and while he will have his sights firmly set on a result at Mount Panorama, Wood will have his eyes on the development category.

"I always have watched it closely, and obviously have been in it for quite a few years, so I still pay a heap of interest," Wood told v8supercars.com.au.

The reigning champ hopes last year's runner up Ash Walsh can take out the title this year, but sknows it wouldbe a tall feat to topple series leader Paul Dumbrell - even though only four points separate the two contenders.

"I'm a bit of a fan of Ash. I just like his approach, him and his old man, I've always clicked pretty well with those guys - so I'd be pretty keen to see him win it this year," he said.

"I think it's going to be tough, because obviously Dumbrell's doing a good job. He's got a mountain of experience and is also in good equipment, and it looks like he's getting stronger at every round he goes to.

"So I think Ash has got a challenge on his hands, but I think his ability is more than capable... Of all of them I think Ash is doing a really good job and someone I'd really like to see take that title this year."

While Dumbrell will begin to close his title campaign today in the Wilson MedicOne Enduro starting on pole, and Walsh in fifth, Wood also believes Ford Performance Racing's Cameron Waters has the potential to conquer - but has some advice.

"Cam Waters I think is particularly quick - he can obviously put a bloody good lap together when he wants to," he said.

"But obviously maybe I probably wouldn't be out of place saying he needs to calm it down a little bit.

"I've been there, so I certainly know the position, and they're hard decisions to make at the time."

The Dunlop Series acts a feeder series to the main game.

With Wood successfully making the jump to the V8 Supercars Championship this year, the Brad Jones Racing driver believes there are potential candidates in this year's Dunlop Series grid capable of graduating to the main game.

"There are [a few in the Development Series knocking on the door of the V8 Supercar Championship]," he said.

"Obviously with someone like Dumbrell in it, who's extremely capable and experienced, maybe he's not, but the other guys like Ash, Andre Heimgartner, Chris Pither, they've got a pretty good benchmark there.

"They know that Paul was quite competitive in the main series, so being able to run alongside him is a pretty good judge as to whether they're right for next year and I think a lot of those guys would be right to make that step up to the next level."

2014 marks the first year the Dunlop Series will veer away from its traditional format of two 12 lap races at the Mountain, with the first ever Dunlop Series Wilson MedicOne Enduro kicking off tomorrow.

With 250km to trek and 46 laps to complete around Mount Panorama tomorrow for the Dunlop Series, Wood is in favour of the new race length to prepare the burgeoning V8 Supercar stars for the main game formats, after having to adjust in his returning season to the main game.

"I think it's definitely a right move," he said.

"It's taken me a bit this year to adjust to the long races, and it just becomes something you accept. As opposed to earlier in the year for me, I'd have a look at the race schedule for the weekend coming up and be surprised at the length of even the shot races, let alone the big one on Sunday.

"The Bathurst race is really good - just means, same as the main series, it's not three races, not two, just one race that you have to get right. So it'll keep all the boys on their toes - it means they might have to get out, punch the pavements, maybe ride their push bikes a little bit more."

See how Wood's form guide plays out in the Dunlop Series' first ever Wilson MedicOne Enduro, with racing kicking off at 10.20am (AEDT) today.

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