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Wood's Bathurst double DNF lands rookie in unique club

Supercars
04 Mar
WAU rookie Ryan Wood joined an exclusive club last weekend at Bathurst, though it’s one he’d much prefer not to be a member of
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  • Ryan Wood didn't finish either Bathurst 500 race

  • Kiwi rookie had superb one-lap pace in maiden Supercars round

  • Wood was hit into Hell Corner sand, before being hit on Sunday

Kiwi Walkinshaw Andretti United rookie Ryan Wood joined an exclusive club last weekend at Bathurst, though it’s one he’d much prefer not to be a member of.

He failed to finish both races at the Thrifty Bathurst 500 after first lap contact in each of the 250-kilometre races, joining a unique club of racers who have failed to finish their first two races of their Australian Touring Car/Supercars Championship career.

The #2 Mobil 1 Truck Assist WAU Mustang driver became the first driver in nearly eight years to fail to finish their first two races in their championship career.

The last driver to have this occur was current PremiAir Nulon Racing Camaro driver James Golding during his time with Garry Rogers Motorsport.

Co-driving one of the team’s Volvos with James Moffat in 2016, he crashed out of the Sandown 500 on the opening lap when a tyre failed at the end of the back straight. At Bathurst the duo’s retired when the engine failed on Mountain Straight.

Race start: Triple Eight duo deny Mostert, Wood wiped out

Prior to Golding a trio of internationally recognised racers was the last to fail to finish the first two races of their Supercars career on the Gold Coast in 2012.

James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti and Peter Kox all failed to finish both races at the international co-driver-flavoured ‘600.

Kox and Andretti never returned after the 2012 Gold Coast event, leaving them 0 from 2 for championship race finishes in Supercars.

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Hinchcliffe, however, did return in a WAU-run wildcard Commodore alongside Alexander Rossi at Bathurst in 2019.

Despite the double DNF, WAU gun Chaz Mostert is backing Wood to make his mark on the results sheet in the Repco Supercars Championship soon enough, as did team co-owner Ryan Walkinshaw.

First lap: Mostert gets the jump, Hill sent into a spin

“He showed amazing speed through qualifying, what he’s done through practice, he’s keeping me really honest,” Mostert said on the weekend at Bathurst.

“He’s come from one year of development series, straight into Gen3 cars this year and they haven’t been the easiest transition cars for us all last year.

“But what he’s showing is something pretty special and I think he’s going to pretty much light this championship up when he has a little bit of luck go his way.”

Wood will be hoping to get to the finish line in Race 3 of the championship at Albert Park, unlike Tim Slade, who retired from the first three races of his championship career in 2009.

Then a young gun signed up to drive a Supercheap Auto Commodore for Paul Morris Motorsports, Slade failed to finish both races in Adelaide, didn’t finish the opener in Hamilton in New Zealand and didn’t even make the grid for what was due to be his fourth race – he crashed in qualifying and the car did not start the race.

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