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Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Spectacular WAU rookie’s Bathurst approach

THERE is a spectacular ‘win it or bin it’ sense about Ryan Wood that promises to excite fans.

Last year, Wood was stunningly quick in Super2 and just as aggressive. It was a bold combination that won him five races and convinced Walkinshaw Andretti United that one season in Supercars’ second tier was all he needed.

But the charismatic Kiwi is planning to tone it down a touch as his main game debut looms this weekend at the Thrifty Bathurst 500.

“I think last year I learnt a lot more about there’s sometimes stages where I have got to be a little bit more patient; like I probably cost myself the championship a few times last year,” Wood told V8 Sleuth.

2023 Sandown Super2 round winner Ryan Wood. Pic: Ross Gibb

“Going into this year, I want to earn the respect of everyone around me and not be a tool, but obviously I don’t want to back down to them because at the end of the day we’re all humans and we’re all doing the same thing, which is trying to win races.

“There will probably be a few times where it’s a bit touch and go, but I think the main thing is every time I go out there I learn and put my best foot forward.”

The 20-year-old is still a raw talent and actually has minimal Gen3 mileage under his belt compared to his new peers.

Prior to this month’s Winton pre-season test, his only substantial chance to drive a Gen3 Supercar came at a WAU evaluation last July that was effectively an audition for the #2 Mustang seat for 2024.

Ryan Wood (right) with Fabian Coulthard. Pic: Ross Gibb

“For me that was kind of a whirlwind because I knew what they were trying to take out of it, so I probably didn’t get to learn a whole lot that day because it was more just trying to put my best foot forward,” said Wood.

“And then (the February 7 Winton test) was obviously more working on testing components and just really learning a lot more what stuff does to these cars and the balance shift and everything, so it was really good.”

Wood will be engineered by Adam Austin, while teammate Chaz Mostert is guided by recruit Sam Scaffidi.

Practice at Mount Panorama starts tomorrow.

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