Best Bars Toyota 86 championship contender Ryan Wood says learning off the big guns in the series will set himself up for the best chance at the title.
Wood’s sophomore year in the championship started with a flurry of strong results. Three wins in the opening six races has Wood sit second in the points, 24 behind leader Simon Evans.
The impressive start to the year comes off a turn in pace in the last season’s finale at Hampton Downs, where Wood became a regular fighter in the top-five. Simulator training between seasons has also aided Wood in preparation for 2021.
“I have been doing a lot of simulator work between seasons, but also I have been busy working on using the strong pace that we had late last year,” Wood told Velocity News. “It is about building on it and staying consistent.
“It is still early days in the championship, but we can’t complain. We have already had our first pole position and win.”
In only his second season of racing cars, Wood says he will have to take advantage of this year’s championship having some of New Zealand’s most experienced touring car racers to improve on his performances.
“I’m happy with the consistency of my pace throughout the races, but I still need to work on our form in the reverse top-ten race each weekend.
“To do that, I need to learn from the experienced guys like Simon [Evans] and Rowan [Shepherd].
“I need to focus on their racecraft, and also which breaking techniques they use, all to help better myself. Hopefully, that can help me be able to pick the others off.
“But this year is all about learning how to push the car to the limit and to trust it.”
With three rounds to play out, each at three different circuits, Wood says the thought of the title is firmly on his mind.
But he insisted that the championship will be decided on consistency over the remaining rounds, not necessarily race wins.
“We just need to stay in that top group pace wise every race and build on everything throughout the season. Then we will see what happens at the end of it all.”
Main Image: John Cowpland/TGRNZ