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SuperUtes coming to Supercar series
Diesel dual-cab pick-ups to replace V8 utes for 2017 Supercars racing season
24 Oct 2016
A LOOK at the Australian new car registration figures will make it abundantly clear that our nation has a love affair with diesel-powered pick-ups, and Supercars Australia has decided to act on it by introducing the slightly antithetical SuperUtes racing series for the 2017 season.
Replacing the V8 Utes category in the wake of Holden and Ford ceasing production of its tray-back icons, the SuperUtes category will call on any and all manufacturers to develop racing versions of production pick-ups, to be raced at Townsville, Ipswich, Bathurst, Gold Coast and Newcastle as a part of the Supercars series.
Supercars Australia says it is working with existing V8 Utes competitors Holden and Ford on transitioning into the new category, which suggests the SuperUtes will feature at least a Holden Colorado and Ford Ranger.
Other possible entrants include the Nissan Navara aligning with the company’s Altima in the V8 Supercars, segment sales leader Toyota HiLux, Mazda BT-50, Mitsubishi Triton, Volkswagen Amarok and Isuzu D-Max.
There is no word yet on whether teams will use modified versions of the four-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel engines powering most pick-ups, or if they will go for something bigger for more performance.
Dual-cab pick-ups are not directly associated with high performance or circuit racing, but the first race of 2017 is promising to be something Supercars fans have never seen before.
Supercars Australia managing director Matt Braid said that the new SuperUtes category would be a hit with the fans.
“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,” he said.
“Utilising production based turbo-diesel dual cab utes 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.”
Supercars Australia plans to further expand the racing series into 2018.
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