Rookie Wood's crucial takeaway from 'special' home round

24 Apr
Ryan Wood was sixth for the weekend on home soil, and was in the hunt for silverware
  • Ryan Wood finished sixth overall at ITM Taupō Super400

  • WAU rookie finished fourth, 10th in 200km races

  • 20-year-old rising star looking for tyre life improvement

Ryan Wood was overwhelmed by a “special” weekend on home soil, but admitted he has plenty more to learn about tyre life in his young Supercars career.

The Walkinshaw Andretti United rookie was fourth and 10th in the two races at the ITM Taupō Super400, and ended up an impressive sixth overall for the round.

Critically, Wood moved from 24th — and last — in the standings to 19th, with the 20-year-old slowly but surely rebuilding his season after a double DNF in Bathurst.

Wood was switched to a three-stop strategy in Sunday’s race, and powered back to 12th at the flag, before penalties to Brodie Kostecki and Richie Stanaway promoted him to 10th.

The Wellington native also set the fastest lap of the race, but it was all academic to Wood, who feels he needs more work on his tyre saving skills to be more competitive.

“To be honest, we were never going to run third or there or thereabouts. We were maybe looking at a [top] 10,” he said.

“We struggled probably with tyre life more than others. That's due to me. I'm just learning each time I drive a race car, you know.

"Especially these things are quite hard and around here is difficult with deg and everything. So, learned a lot this weekend.”

When told he got the fastest race lap of the weekend, Wood replied: "Yeah, but it's nothing to be proud of because I burnt the tyres off quicker than everyone!"

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Wood now readies for Perth, where he won both races at last year’s Super2 round. However, the youngest driver on the grid was taken aback by the reception of his home fans, with Wood thrilled to be part of the show.

"A pretty special weekend... to have a solid weekend at my home race is really cool,” Wood said.

“The fans, like, they're just second to none, aren't they? Amazing to be back here. I was lucky enough to be there for the last Pukekohe race, and to see that was amazing.

"I think Taupo did an amazing job this weekend of hosting one of the best Supercar events I've ever been to, so pretty cool to be a part of it.”

WAU teammate Chaz Mostert remained third in the points heading to the Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint on May 17-19.

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