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Hotly contested Super2 season previews stars of the future

The Dunlop Super2 Series is the traditional proving ground for young drivers wanting to make to the top level of Australian motorsport and despite early concerns about depth, this year’s roster is set to be one of the most competitive.

The major change for this season is the introduction of Gen2 through the Ford Mustang and Holden ZB Commodore, while Super3 moves to primarily the Holden VF Commodore and Nissan Altimas, with no Ford Falcon FGXs entered for Newcastle.

Reigning series winning team Triple Eight Race Engineering will not return alongside drivers Declan Fraser and Cameron Hill make the step up to the main game, so too will Grove Racing rival Matt Payne as the squad also will not contest the class.

With these developments the season is set to be the most open in a while as last year’s runner up Zak Best makes a switch as well racing for the privateer Anderson Motorsport team in it’s ex-Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Mustang.

Petronas make a welcome return to Supercars competition as sponsor to Blanchard Racing Team’s Ford Mustang for former Porsche ace Aaron Love. Despite missing early rounds of last year’s Porsche Carrera Cup Australia season, Love nearly stole the title after an extraordinary run of results.

Another making a Mustang switch is previous Super2 race winner Jaylyn Robotham, who secured a late deal to race on the streets of Newcastle driving MW Motorsport’s entry.

Super3 Series winner from last year Brad Vaughan makes the step up with Tickford Racing alongside Elly Morrow after a part-season with Brad Jones Racing in 2022.

The Mustang entries are completed by two privateers in the form of Zane Morse and son of AMSCAR Series winner Steve Masterton, James.

On the Holden side, veteran Jack Perkins saddles up for a full-season campaign in an Erebus Motorsport ZB Commodore as he acts as mentor to Jay Hanson as part of the Supercars squad’s academy, though the latter is part of Image Racing.

While Triple Eight has left the series, the Supercars main team involvement has increased as Walkinshaw Andretti United re-enter the fray with an operation led by long-time endurance driver Warren Luff spearheaded by two rookies, Zach Bates and New Zealander Ryan Wood.

Eggleston Motorsport’s efforts are the largest with four Super2 entries and one in Super3. A key rival Vaughan in Super3 last year, a heartbreaking crash in the final race has Kai Allen determined for redemption in 2023 as he steps up to the second-tier in an Eggleston ZB Commodore.

Joining Allen is the returning Cameron Crick, former Porsche young gun Cooper Murray and Jordyn Sinni, making the step up from Formula Ford.

Nash Morris makes the switch from Ford to Holden, as does long-time Blue Oval representative Matt Chahda.

Another driver to enjoy support from a main game team is Lochie Dalton after an impressive debut at Adelaide last year, continuing with Brad Jones Racing.

Third-generation racer Aaron Seton goes slightly independent as he joins Jason Gomersall’s team for 2023 in a ZB Commodore, while Speedway ace Callum Walker makes the transition to circuit racing in an ex-PremiAir ZB Commodore following two back injuries.

Speaking of multi-generation motorsport families, Super3 contains a Kelly, Johnson and McLeod as part of the opening round entries.

Todd Kelly’s son Mason continues his motorsport progression enabling the Kelly Racing brand to re-enter Supercars competition, with his teammate Jett Johnson continuing his journey as father Steven is in tow.

Former Formula Ford racer Cameron McLeod, son of Ryan and grandchild to Bathurst winner Peter joins Super3.

Outside of those contenders, Image Racing’s Jobe Stewart, AIM Motorsport driver Ryan Gilroy and Matt McCutcheon of Eggleston Motorsport will provide plenty of competition in what is set to be a tight battle.

Veterans Gomersall and Chris Smerdon continue in the series, as does Jim Pollicina in the sole-Project Blueprint specification entry.