WAU confirms Super2 return with first driver

Zach Bates

Walkinshaw Andretti United has confirmed a two-car Dunlop Super2 Series programme in 2023 with the announcement of its first driver.

As first reported by Speedcafe.com in August, WAU had been “seriously evaluating” a presence in Supercars’ second tier.

The Clayton-based operation has now confirmed that Zach Bates will drive for the team, with a second driver to be announced at a later day.

Bates, 18, graduates from the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series, with the Canberra native having finished second in this year’s standings.

WAU’s return to Super2 for the first time in a decade will be led by Team Manager Rob Starr.

Warren Luff will also play a role in the programme as Driver Development Advisor.

WAU Team Principal, Bruce Stewart, said the squad’s return to Super2 for the first time since 2012 — when it fielded Nick Percat — has been a long time coming.

“We are so excited to have Zach Bates join us in our Super2 programme for 2023, he is such an impressive young man in every aspect,” commented Stewart.

“Returning to the Dunlop Super2 Championship has been a big focus of ours, but only with the right people involved.

“It’s a really important pathway for not only Zach and other drivers, but staff as well, from mechanics, engineers, it creates a pathway for a variety of different roles within our sport, so we are rapt to be competing, and to have Zach representing us.

“Importantly, we have some incredibly talented people involved, with Rob Starr leading the programme, with over 32 years of experience in our team, as well as Luffy there to help guide and nurture the young drivers with everything they have to deal with across the season… who better to learn from.

“We are really excited to see Zach develop in 2023, I’m sure his talent will become clear to all pretty quickly.”

Bates is slated to get behind the wheel of a WAU-branded ZB Commodore early next year, despite the outfit’s switch to Ford machinery in the Repco Supercars Championship.

The new recruit added: “I can’t wait to get the season underway, it’s amazing already to be learning off some of the best in the business, and the entire Walkinshaw Andretti United team couldn’t have been more welcoming.”

Next year’s Super2 season will commence at the Newcastle 500 from March 10-12.

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