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Why Wood isn’t proud of his Taupō lap record

RYAN Wood downplayed plaudits for leaving Taupō Motorsport Park with the Supercars race lap record, because it came hand-in-hand with some excessive tyre wear.

After a superb Saturday drive to fourth, Wood again started and finished inside the top 10 on the Sunday of his home event.

His race engineer Adam Austin reacted to how the 60-lapper was playing out by switching to a three-stop strategy and Wood came charging home to take 10th – helped by five-second penalties for Brodie Kostecki and Richie Stanaway.

In his first full tour after his final stop, Wood registered a 1:27.6151s that would hold up for fastest lap. That didn’t come with any bonus points being a non-sprint race, but does mean he’ll hold the record until Supercars returns to the track next season.

“Yeah, but it’s nothing to be proud of because I burnt the tyres off quicker than everyone!” Wood quipped when quizzed about the feat on the post-race broadcast.

Nevertheless, the 20-year-old dubbed the weekend “pretty special” in his end-of-event quotes supplied by Walkinshaw Andretti United.

“It was a long slog, we went for a different strategy today doing three stints which I think worked in our favour so a massive credit to the crew,” he said.

“Really looking forward to heading to Perth for the next round, would be nice to have the same sort of weekend we had in the Super2 car last year.”

Ryan Wood (right) with engineer Adam Austin. Pic: Walkinshaw Andretti United

Wood swept the Super2 round last year at Wanneroo Raceway in a performance that kickstarted calls for his eventual elevation into the main game.

On the other side of the garage, it was a case of ‘what could have been’ for Chaz Mostert at Taupō.

The #25 driver was challenging Andre Heimgartner for the Saturday victory before losing his right-rear wheel shortly after his final stop.

Mostert placed seventh in Race 2, even after losing ground on the opening lap and then being delayed in the pits.

Still, like Wood, he also left Taupō with a record in hand – that being the best Supercars practice/qualifying lap time of a 1:26.4937s set on the Friday.

WAU team principal Carl Faux pinpointed the next objective in their march towards the very front.

“The big thing for us to work on is unlocking the one-lap speed for the Top 10 Shootouts. We’ll focus on that next,” he said.

Elsewise, Faux surmised: “We didn’t’ quite have the tyre life with Chaz Mostert and we made a few too many mistakes in the pits.

“Ryan Wood learned a lot on Sunday and got the fastest lap and into the top 10.”

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