The first two completed SuperUtes have been revealed in Townsville alongside confirmation of key details for the new series.
A Ross Stone Racing Ford Ranger and Sieders Racing Team Mitsubishi Triton were uncovered in front of media at the Reid Park street circuit ahead of the series’ kick-off in 2018.
The Mazda BT-50, Toyota Hilux, Isuzu D-Max and Holden Colorado have also been homologated for the turbo diesel dual-cab category which replaces the traditional V8 Utes.
A standard Hilux and BT-50 were also present at the launch, with the latter set to underpin Peters Motorsport’s entry into the series.
Long-time V8 Ute supporter East Coast Bullbars (ECB) has been confirmed as naming rights partner, with the class to run under the ECB SuperUtes Series name.
A provisional eight-round calendar has also been released featuring the Adelaide 500, CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown, Townsville 400, Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint, Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Gold Coast 600 and Coates Hire Newcastle 500.
Supercars CEO James Warburton, MD Matt Braid and Sporting and Technical manager David Stuart joined SuperUtes category manager John Casey and consultant/competitor Ross Stone at the launch.
“ECB is a fantastic partner with an enormous passion for the ute segment which is the third highest category in the Australian car market to small cars and SUVs,” Braid said.
“This week the Ford Ranger and the Toyota Hi-Lux were again the most popular cars in Australia, selling more units than any other model in the country.
“These SuperUtes not only look stunning but are a purpose-built race car which will be amazing to drive, is market relevant, affordable and with the highest safety levels.
“This will be a fantastic series to compete in and for spectators to watch.”
The production based race vehicles feature a list of control components including roll-cage, gearbox and differential, brakes, tyres, wheels, springs/dampers and pedal box.
They’ll each run their own diesel powerplants, with Supercars’ engine expert Craig Hasted working closely alongside electronic specialists Motec to achieve parity.
Sieders Racing is also planning a fleet of entries, with its first Mitsubishi to be piloted by South Aussie Craig Dontas.
“Ute racing has been a huge part of the Australian racing culture and we see this as the next phase for what has been an incredibly popular category for such a long time,” Dontas said.
“We have played a big part in the Series and are very excited about the future with SuperUtes as a new and market relevant platform which will bring news fans to the sport.
“Our plan is to run a multi-car operation. The goal is to expand to at least three SuperUtes with a junior development style program with at least one additional entry.”
Top-line specifications for SuperUtes:
• Production based dual/twin cab ute
• Rear wheel drive
• Manufacturer Turbo diesel engine, category controlled engine performance
• Weight minimum of 1800kg
• Manufacturers OEM Body Styling Options
• Control cage (CAMS approved control cage specification), brakes, tyres, wheels, springs/dampers
• OEM front suspension components (subject to confirmation)
• Control gearbox and ratios
• Control rear axle assembly, with controlled Detroit locker and ratio
• Control ECU (Motec)
Supercars approved control specification kit consisting of:
• Diesel Engine evaluation
• Motec dash colour display/data logger
• Exhaust – (OE manifold)
• Suspension – Front and Rear SupaShock shock absorbers and springs
• Brakes – Brembo 6 piston front and 4 piston rear calipers, Brembo front and rear disc’s
• Tilton Pedal box and master cylinders incorporating brake bias adjustments
• Control gearbox and ratios; Control differential and ratio; Control tyres; 20” Control wheels
• Control specification roll cage (bespoke to each manufacturer) – CAMS approved.