Drivers bracing for 'extra spicy' rain curveball

20 Apr
Supercars could be set for its first wet race of the Gen3 era, at a brand new circuit at Taupō
3 mins by James Pavey
  • Rain forecast for Supercars Saturday action at Taupō

  • Supercars set for first wet race of Gen3 era, at a new circuit

  • New softer Wet tyre, new circuit encouraging "extra spicy" racing

Supercars could be set for its first wet race of the Gen3 era, with the new Taupō circuit and softer Wet tyre encouraging “extra spicy” action.

After a dry practice session on Friday, Supercars drivers have been greeted by wet conditions ahead of Saturday’s running at the ITM Taupō Super400.

The abrasive nature of the Taupō surface has been likened to Perth’s Wanneroo Raceway, which is one of the hardest circuits on tyres on the calendar.

Showers are forecast all day, with possible afternoon thunderstorms. Given Supercars has never raced at Taupō before, Will Davison is tipping drama.

“We obviously have a soft[er] wet than we had back in the Perth days, which we haven't done a huge amount of running on, so that could make it even extra spicy,” said Shell V-Power Racing Team veteran Davison, who was third in Friday practice.

“Sometimes, particularly if it's a cool place, you're better to leave a wet on to keep the temperature in it in a pit stop — but I don't think that will be the case here.

“I think we'll see a significant drop, but a gain by changing tyres, but we'll find out soon enough.

ONBOARD: Kostecki laps Supercars' newest circuit

“It looks like… I don't say a hundred percent [chance of rain] – I hope it is because we used one extra tyre then than I wanted to – but I'm assuming it'll be wet [today].“I bloody hope it is, otherwise."


Supercars has yet to conduct a race in the rain on the latest Wet compound, which was introduced in 2023. The only genuinely wet session was first practice in Adelaide last year, while scattered showers impacted the Grand Prix.

On the prospect of rain, Penrite Racing driver Matt Payne said: “I think it'll be really cool. I'm looking forward to a bit of wet weather driving; I haven't done it for a bit and I always enjoy the wet, especially around here.

“I think it's going to be pretty sketchy. I remember test days long ago here and it was wet and the drainage was not amazing.

“So, it's going to be interesting if it rains the whole day.”

Rain or not, Practice 1 fast man Chaz Mostert expects Taupō to produce high degradation, which could produce “chaos."

Highlights: Practice 2024 ITM Taupō Super400

“The surface takes me back to the old school Perth, maybe even a little bit worse, because it gives you a little bit of hope around here in a couple of patches,” the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver said.

“You go, ‘Oh that feels good and gripped up', and then all of a sudden you get to the next corner and you blaze past the apex.

“But 90 minutes [of practice], I don't think [anybody] had any tyres left at the end of that session. This weekend is going to be super interesting. It will be a spectacle watching for a fan.

“Watching cars flying around from the start of the stint to the end of the stint, it's going to be chaos. And chaos is entertainment, and we're in the entertainment business. It's going to be a lot of fun.”

Supercars will return to the track on Saturday with Boost Mobile Qualifying at 8:20am AEST/10:20am NZST, followed by the Top Ten Shootout at 10:00am AEST/12:00pm NZST.

The first race of the weekend, the 60-lap Race 7, will start at 1:05pm AEST/3:05pm NZST.

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