Dual-cab V8 SuperUtes are set to replace low-riding Aussie V8 utes at the V8 Supercar race next year; initially as a new support series.
With the demise of the locally manufactured utes and more importantly, the increasing popularity of full-sized utes, it is deemed a natural replacement for the car-based utes.
Until now, the V8 Utes race series has stayed loyal to the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon utes, but in the interest of maintaining relevance, the new series has been created to accommodate full-sized utes such as the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Holden Colorado, Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Tritron.
“V8 Utes has been a popular and entertaining category but with the changing automotive market, it’s important that the Utes series becomes more market relevant. Utilising production based turbodiesel dual cab pick-ups currently available for sale in the Australian market, SuperUtes will open the category to a variety of new manufacturers while still maintaining the spectacular and entertaining elements that make the category such a favourite with the fans,” said Supercars Managing Director, Matt Braid.
The new race series is reportedly targeted at private teams rather than deep-pocketed, factory-backed players, with the series’ technical regulations reflecting this aim. This includes the requirement to use the ute’s original turbodiesel engine with outputs limited to an as-yet unspecified level.
Other requirements include rear-wheel drive only with a minimum weight pegged at 1,800kg, while the ECU, wheels, tyres and brakes are all control items where the same specifications apply to everyone. Down force generating spoilers are not allowed.
The inaugural SuperUtes series will being racing in July next year in Townsville before moving on to Bathurst, Surfers Paradise and Newcastle.