Wood still wants Super2 title despite 2024 promotion

Dunlop Series
02 Oct
'I think it's pretty cool to say we’re in a position as a rookie to be able to say we’re in a title fight'
  • Wood just 75 points behind Super2 leader Best

  • Kiwi teen has already secured main game promotion with WAU

  • Wood one of four Kiwis on 2024 Supercars grid; Heimgartner, Payne, Stanaway the others

Ryan Wood still has his sights set on the 2023 Dunlop Super2 Series title despite having his future locked away for 2024.

Kiwi teenager Wood is just 75 points behind series leader Zak Best with two rounds remaining, and has won three of the last six races.

Wood, who turns 20 in December, will replace Nick Percat alongside Chaz Mostert at Walkinshaw Andretti United in the main game next year.

However, despite having his 2024 plans sorted, Wood still wants to go all out and win the Super2 crown.

Critically, Wood has raced at Mount Panorama and Adelaide before, and despite being wedged in an intense title fight with Best, Kai Allen and Cooper Murray, the teen feels he has a “good shot” at the title.

ryan wood super2 podium sandown 2023

“The next two races are at tracks I’ve actually been to before. It’s going to be nice to turn up and know where the corners go,” Wood said in a video piece for sponsor Pacific Fuel Solutions.

“The pressure’s off knowing what I'm doing [next year], but now it’s like, I can have a go here [for the Super2 title]. 

"For me, it’s another race weekend and another championship I want to go and win. I’m gonna have a go and see what comes of it. 

"I think it's pretty cool to say we’re in a position as a rookie to be able to say we’re in a title fight. There’s some good operators, and I think we’ve got a good shot.”

Each of the top four drivers have had their troubles this season, but the timing of the latest drama — for Best at Sandown — has brought them all together towards the top of the standings.

Wood opened the year with a DNF in Newcastle, Allen was turned around by Murray in Perth, and Murray was penalised over an incident with Aaron Love in Townsville.

ryan wood sandown 2023 win

All the while, Best had been strong if not consistent, but was barged out of contention by Zane Morse in the Sandown finale, which was won by Murray. Wood and Allen finished third and fourth, with Best missing the top 10.

Wood has proven the entertainer of the four, putting on bold overtakes to muscle his way into contention — something his countrymen and mentors, Greg Murphy and Shane van Gisbergen, became famous for.

“I’m only 19, so it Murph and SVG of late have been my idols, and I’m lucky enough to have them as mentors,” Wood said.

“Murph has had a huge role in my career this year. It’s been pretty special to pick up the phone and say, 'Hey Murph, what do you reckon’. 

"He’s pretty cutthroat, so he tells me how it is. It’s been special to share this journey with him. 

"I do a lot of sim racing, and a lot of it with Shane. He’s a tough racer on and off the track, even the way he operates in everyday life. It’s cool to have insight into what it takes to be the best."

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