Ryan Wood has converted pole position to victory in this afternoon’s Super2 opener at the Adelaide 500 but was made to work to overcome an early challenge from Nash Morris and a late Safety Car intervention.
The race also brought about a major championship swing, with Kai Allen finishing third and taking the lead after a 15-second penalty for Zak Best dropped him from fourth to thirteenth and costing him 63 championship points on his rival.
Morris was the better starter off the front row, leading into Turn 1, with Wood slotting in behind. Best was slow to get away off the second row, and the two leaders quickly put a small gap on the field.
An early Safety Car was called after Jordyn Sinni became stranded in the gravel on Lap 1.
Morris was good off the restart but was quickly challenged by Wood, who got a good exit out of Turn 7 the next lap and ran the inside line through the high-speed Turn 8, taking the lead.
With Morris run off-line, Cooper Murray also followed through to take second, leaving the early leader to the grasp of Allen and Best, with the former overtaking the championship leader off the restart.
Murray and Wood cleared out on the field as the battles behind continued, the gap to third sitting at 6.5 seconds at the mid-point and growing to 13 seconds with 15 minutes left to run.
The action heated up in the mid-pack from here, with spins for Aaron Love and Jay Hanson dropping them down the order.
A second Safety Car was called shortly after, with Mason Kelly hitting the barriers at Turn 7 and bouncing back onto the racing line into the path of an unsighted Zane Morse.
Both sustained heavy damage, and the interruption saw Wood and Murray’s gap at the front eliminated.
Allen had also gone about passing Morris for third before this, with Best trying to follow through a lap later but making contact with the early leader and sending him into the tyres, resulting in a 15-second penalty for the championship leader.
Morris’s strong qualifying result and impressive performance ultimately came down to an eighth-placed finish.
Wood held on off the restart to claim the win, with Murray taking second and Allen third.
The Dunlop Series returns for the season finale tomorrow, with Allen now holding a 33-point advantage over Best, the latter having started the event with a 30-point advantage.
The action begins at 3.50 pm, with Wood starting from pole.