Ryan Wood has capped off a successful weekend in Adelaide with his second Super2 victory in as many races, having also qualified on pole for both.
While eyes were on the unfolding title fight between Zak Best and Kai Allen, the Kiwi Walkinshaw Andretti driver upstaged both, taking a commanding win in the series before stepping up to Supercars next season.
Best recovered from a 15-second penalty that cost him the championship lead on Saturday to finish second, but the implications of yesterday’s contact with Nash Morris ultimately cost him the title, which went the way of Eggleston Motorsport’s Kai Allen.
Zach Bates completed the Race 12 podium, while Allen’s fourth was enough to take 2023 honours, making up for the heartbreak experienced at the same venue in 2022 when he crashed out of the Super3 championship lead in the final race at Turn 8.
It was Best who got off to the better start this time out, overtaking the pole-sitter off the line to lead through Turn 1.
Wood kept the pressure on over the entire opening lap, braking late at the final corner and running Best wide to take the lead.
He would slowly build on this over the opening stages, the gap increasing to 2.5 seconds after 14 minutes and stretching to 3.5 over the following laps.
Once at 3.5 seconds, the margin was managed before slowly drawing out to 4.8 seconds at the chequered flag.
The clean sweep is the young Kiwi’s second for the season, having also swept Round 2 in Perth. He also claimed a race win in Sandown, his Adelaide victories making it five for the season from twelve starts.
Runner-up for Best completes another year of almost for the Victorian competitor, who has finished second for the past three Super2 seasons. The 22-year-old has made 10 Supercars starts in his career, shocking the main game contenders when he qualified on the pole last year at The Bend.
With Jack Smith departing Supercars at the end of the weekend, a vacant seat at Brad Jones Racing remains up for grabs. Wood will join Chaz Mostert at Walkinshaw Andretti United in 2024, but Allen and Best remain on the driver market.
Header Image: Walkinshaw Andretti United