How Wood found out about WAU promotion

26 Jan
Kiwi Ryan Wood will be the youngest driver on the grid when the 2024 season starts at Mount Panorama
  • Ryan Wood one of three rookies in 2024 season

  • Kiwi told about 2024 promotion at Sydney ride day

  • Wood won five races, three rounds in last year's Dunlop Series

A “special” trackside conversation at a Sydney ride day was the moment Ryan Wood found out about his main game promotion with Walkinshaw Andretti United.

Wood, 20, will race alongside two-time Bathurst winner Chaz Mostert at WAU in the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship.

The New Zealander is one of three rookies on the grid, alongside Jaxon Evans (Brad Jones Racing) and Aaron Love (Blanchard Racing Team).

However, he is the only one without a main game start — but performances in the Dunlop Series last year, headlined by five race wins and three round wins, were enough for WAU to promote the young gun.

Midway through the 2023 season, Wood was present with WAU at a Sydney ride day, and was pulled aside by now CEO Bruce Stewart and Team Principal Carl Faux, who told him the news.

wood adelaide pole 2023 race 2

“Obviously we were in conversations for a while, it was kind of back and forth,” Wood said on the latest Rusty’s Garage episode.

“I went to Sydney for a ride day after the Sydney Supercars round, and was basically there that morning, and got pulled to the side.

“Bruce and Carl Faux basically just said, ‘We’re taking you, we’re gonna do this’. 

"It was a pretty special moment, to have that done in person, see their belief and emotion. To see what it meant to them as well was pretty special.”


Wood, who recently turned 20, may be one of the youngest full-time drivers in recent years, yet has a wealth of potential and impressive results in his fledging career.

Regardless, racing under the WAU banner brings pressure, but confidence from the WAU camp and mentorship from Greg Murphy has Wood in good stead.

ryan wood adelaide 2023 2

“There’s always pressure in any sort of sport,” Wood said.“

Especially in motorsport, you’ve got a lot of people investing a lot of money. There’s obviously pressure but it’s how you deal with it.

“I’ve got really good people in my corner, obviously Murph has been a big supporter of mine and is basically my right-hand man.

“Just dealing with that early on in the season is going to be the hardest part. But going back and just making sure I'm enjoying every weekend is the main thing.

“I know when I'm having fun and enjoying my racing, I'm driving my best.”

Wood will test his Gen3 Ford Mustang at Winton on February 7 ahead of the season-opening Thrifty Bathurst 500 on February 23-25. Tickets are on sale now.

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