New Zealand motorsport talent Ryan Wood has signed with Walkinshaw Andretti United to compete in their re-entry into Super2 next year.
Wood will join Australian Zach Bates as WAU returns to the Super2 field for the first time since 2012.
The original plan was for the Kiwi to compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia with Team Porsche New Zealand and Earl Bamber Motorsport. Competing in Super2 means he’s had to step aside from that role which now remains vacant.
The teenager admits it wasn’t an easy choice to make.
“There’s no doubt it was a really tough decision to make the switch from Porsche New Zealand and Earl Bamber Motorsport, they’ve been amazing for me, and I can’t thank them enough for all that they’ve done,” said Wood.
“It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid to race Supercars, so I’m really excited to chase that dream with Walkinshaw Andretti United and see what we can do together next year.
“It’s going to be a big learning curve, but the team have already been amazing so far, so I can’t wait to get stuck into the season.”
It’s an opportunity that Wood definitely deserves following an incredible year which was highlighted by his efforts in the Porsche Sprint Challenge.
He won four out of six rounds and topped every single qualifying session on his way to finish second in the championship to Australian Thomas Sargent.
The duo were inseparable all season, winning every race bar one. The Kiwi only missed out on the title due to a fuel-pump failure which cause him to retire from a race at The Bend.
Wood has also competed in the South Island Endurance Series as well as Toyota 86.
He’ll also have good company for his teammate, Bates finishing second overall in this year’s highly competitive Australian Toyota 86 series.
Walkinshaw Andretti United Team Principal, Bruce Stewart, is delighted to have Wood joining the Team for his Super2 debut season.
“We have been following Ryan’s career closely for a while now and got the opportunity to see first-hand his talent at our recent driver evaluation day, where he more than impressed everyone there,” said Stewart.
“It wasn’t just the way he drove, but the way he interacts with the team around him, we think he’s a great fit for our culture here at WAU, which is really important to us.
“We think Ryan’s got a very bright future ahead of him, and are looking forward to seeing him alongside Zach [Bates], who we think we work really well together on and off the track.”
The signing means a Kiwi will be on the grid in Super2 following the promotion of Matt Payne to Grove Racing’s main game program.
Testing for Super2 begins in February with the first round at the Newcastle 500 following on March 10-12.