Ryan Wood will rise to the main game with WAU in 2024
Kiwi teen scored more race wins, round wins and poles than anyone else
Wood won five races, three rounds and claimed five poles in six rounds
The Super2 title ultimately went begging, but Ryan Wood was pleased to ready himself for the main game after a dominant season.
The incoming Supercars rookie was a class of the field in Super2, taking more race wins, round wins and poles than any other driver.
Back in August, Walkinshaw Andretti United confirmed Wood alongside Chaz Mostert for 2024, but the Kiwi teenager didn’t let his foot off the gas.
After sweeping the Perth round, Wood won three more races, claimed three more poles and set five fastest laps following the announcement of his signing.
They are numbers fitting of a champion, but Wood’s season was ultimately undone in a season which featured only 12 races worth 150 points each for victory.
Wood crashed out of Race 2 in Newcastle and suffered race-ending damage in the Bathurst opener. Prior to Bathurst, he was 75 points from the lead, but the second DNF ruined his charge.
From there, Wood did what he needed to — set the pace. While the title went the way of the consistent Kai Allen, Wood left no stones unturned with superb one-lap pace and aggressive overtakes.
“I didn’t expect to get the pole award,” Wood said.
“We knew we were good in qualy trim, so rolling in first time here in Adelaide was pretty difficult.
“To back it up with two race wins, two fastest laps, the lap record as well, it was pretty special.
“Most round wins, most race wins, most poles — not to get the championship is a little bit gutting, but Kai deserved it thoroughly.
“Very consistent, very calculated in his decisions. Kudos to him and Egglestons on their job.”
Such aggressive was on show in the Adelaide finale, when erstwhile points leader Zak Best cut the Senna Chicane after the start, which enraged Wood.
Fired up, Wood hounded Best around the opening tour and dive-bombed the #17 Ford at the final corner, and went on to win by 4.7s.
“I had to be pretty aggressive,” Wood said.
“Zak cut the first chicane, which was pretty ordinary driving by himself, to be honest.
“I was pretty fired up, because it was probably my best start of the year. I really wanted to lead out of Turn 1.
“It worked in my favour, and I punched on.”
Wood will make his Repco Supercars Championship debut at the 2024 season-opener, the Thrifty Bathurst 500 on February 23-25.