New Zealand’s Ryan Wood is the latest Kiwi to be linked with a Supercars drive, with the talented 19-year-old a firm favourite to replace Nick Percat at Walkinshaw Andretti United for the 2024 season.
Wood drove his first laps in the Gen3 Mustang, usually driven by Percat, two weeks ago at Winton Motor Raceway. He was joined by compatriot Fabian Coulthard, who was given an exemption drive at the Evaluation Day by Supercars Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess, the reason stated to be because they’re both left-foot brakers.
While both Coulthard and Wood are linked to the seat, it appears to be the younger of the two who has firmed as the favourite. He also brings Mobil 1 New Zealand backing to the team, which would incentivise the signing.
Wood is one of several drivers linked to Team 18 for the 2024 campaign; however, given his role as a member of WAU’s Foundation Academy, it’s expected that is where he would remain.
Chaz Mostert would serve as a fitting teammate for the Kiwi, having made 300 race starts and taken 21 race wins. Mostert is fifth in the 2023 Drivers Championship and the best-ranked Mustang driver.
Wood, meanwhile, is fourth in the Dunlop Series Drivers Championship, having taken two breakthrough wins at this year’s Perth SuperSprint. He turned down the Porsche New Zealand Scholarship to compete in the series.
If the signing were to happen, Coulthard would remain available on the market but as a key contender to take a spot on the grid elsewhere.
While Supercar silly season is yet to swing into gear, the 2024 grid seems set for a massive shakeup, with the likes of Shane van Gisbergen appearing set to make the switch to NASCAR.