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Thread: Super Utes Unveiled

  1. #1
    Validated User Randel's Avatar
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    Super Utes Unveiled

    Hmmmmmmm not sure what to make of this?

    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.”

    SuperUtes Townsville Matt Braid Ross Stone James Warburton

    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.

    Stone confirmed to earlier this week that he’ll field up to three SuperUtes, including the Ranger released today for youngster Christopher Formosa.

    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.

  2. #2
    Validated User Randel's Avatar
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    Hall of Famer Ross Stone has reopened the Queensland workshop that once housed a Supercars superpower as he prepares to tackle the new SuperUtes category.

    Stone cemented his Supercars legend status with a 15-year stint leading Stone Brothers Racing to three championships and a Bathurst victory alongside brother Jim.

    A deal to sell the team to Betty Klimenko in 2012 saw Ross contracted to look after the transition to Erebus Motorsport for two years before taking a sabbatical from the sport.

    A dabble in GT racing followed in late 2015, running an Aston Martin for two events out of a downsized shop in Ormeau, Queensland, under the new Ross Stone Racing banner.

    While the category failed to stir Stone’s competitive fire, the advent of the Supercars-steered SuperUtes has the New Zealander back in his element.

    Planning to run three SuperUtes next season, Stone has also taken on an advisory role with the series, working alongside Supercars and its partners to birth the category.

    “We went down the road of GTs and we did those two races but I really struggled with the handicap pitstop times and all of that side of it,” Stone told

    “I wanted to do something else and when I started looking at the SuperUtes I saw they were going to be a good thing. The more I looked at it, the more I liked it.

    “I’ve I really enjoyed getting in and helping the Supercars technical guys put the package together.

    “It’s been a lot of work, but once the series is up and running I’ll just be a competitor.”

    Stone's SuperUtes venture sees a return to Ford Stone's SuperUtes venture sees a return to Ford

    Fans of Stone from the SBR era will be relieved to know that RSR’s first SuperUte will carry the Blue Oval badge.

    Stone has built a Ford Ranger to the new category’s specifications, which sees a full roll-cage and a kit of racing parts added to the base production vehicle.

    The Ranger is owned by Michael Formosa, who runs the Sydney-based Allgate industrial garage door and gate business, and will be raced by his son, Christopher.

    A complete racing rookie, the youngster is preparing for his SuperUtes season by driving an RSR-prepared Holden in this year’s six-round V8 Ute Racing Series.

    Formosa's Ranger is one of two customer entries that Stone plans to run next year alongside a SuperUte of his own.

    Stone meanwhile admits that getting the SuperUtes technical package right has been a challenge.

    The series was initially scheduled to kick-off in Townsville this weekend before being pushed out to 2018.

    “I think it’s a good challenge getting involved with diesels and everything that goes with that,” he said.

    “(Supercars’ engine partner) Craig Hasted is going to prepare all the engines for it and there’s a lot of preparation work for that.

    “One of the positives is that Motec (engine management specialists) worldwide want to become more involved with diesel electronics and have been a big help for the project.

    “Overall I think it should be a really good thing for the competitors and the fans as well.

    “It’s got a really good brake package – the front rotor size is exactly the same as the Supercar currently uses.

    A sneak peek of Stone's SuperUte A sneak peek of Stone's SuperUte

    “It won’t be over the top with data but we’re going to have enough for a young driver to learn and have a good base of knowledge to progress into Super2 or the main game.

    “It’ll be more of a feeder category to Supercars than the previous Utes ever were.”

    For now, Stone has just one full-time mechanic helping him on the Ute project – a number he expects to increase once it’s in full swing.

    It’s a far cry from the 60-strong workforce the Yatala workshop hosted in 2012 before the Erebus takeover.

    Erebus leased the building from Stone before the team moved to Melbourne at the end of 2015 and, with a short-term tenant recently vacating, the time was right for RSR to move in.

    “It’s interesting being back there. I think everyone involved in our family, we’re really enjoying it,” said Stone.

    “We had a year summary with photos of who drove what and that’s all still up there. For us, there’s a lot of memories here.”

    SBR won the Bathurst 1000 with Jason Bright and Steven Richards during its first year of operation in 1998.

    It went on to take out the 2003 and 2004 Supercars titles with Marcos Ambrose before finding more success with Russell Ingall the following season.

    Among those to receive their first full-time Supercars starts with SBR were Bright, Ambrose, James Courtney and reigning champion Shane van Gisbergen.

    Ross and Jim Stone were inducted into the Supercars Hall of Fame last December for their contribution to the sport.

    Jim remains involved in Supercars through his son Matt's Dunlop Super2 Series team, which will make its debut in the main series at Ipswich next month via a wildcard for young gun Todd Hazelwood.

  3. #3
    Validated User Road_Warrior's Avatar
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    In the cockpit. Cruisin' mah hood
    Tarmac circuit racing. In dual cab BoF utes. What the fuck

    I'd be a whole lot more interested if it was on dirt.

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    Randel (6th July 2017)

  5. #4
    Validated User Randel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road_Warrior View Post
    Tarmac circuit racing. In dual cab BoF utes. What the fuck

    I'd be a whole lot more interested if it was on dirt.
    I know - I think to myself - Why??

    Just because these are sold in large numbers to mining companies doesnt mean we want to see them wallowing around a racetrack ffs

    I know dual cab "trucks" have their place in tradie land - but a racetrack???

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    4Vman (7th July 2017),Road_Warrior (7th July 2017)

  7. #5
    Senior Member andrewforbes's Avatar
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    Bring in dirt n tarmac racing, thought they'd look tougher

  8. #6
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    I think it is a great move, 4 to 5 cylinder diesels is great, bring it on I reckon, it is representative of the market

    As for the comment about mining operations, seriously you need to get our from behind your computer and look at the what the young blokes are buying (and modifying) these days, I have seen some pretty tricked up Rangers, the young blokes love 'em, it will attract them to the sport, everyone wants to see a Ranger flog the arse off a Hilux and a Triton

    There are thousands of twin cab utes being sold, to the young blokes and to the towing market

    This is one in our town (my son-in-law sent me the pic the other day)

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    FTe217 (7th July 2017)

  10. #7
    Aussie Fords FTe217's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    Driving my cars as much as I can
    Well, just as the main Series, things are a changin, this was expected 2yrs ago or so so not surprising news.
    I've never been a avid Ute Series follower in the first place - infact never cared it was on or not when attending races.
    I'll wait and see what this turns out as once its up and running for pure curiosity sake.

    Thats a Beast of a Ranger your son's pic eh Trev for those liking that type of look.
    Mean - its turning me on for another Black in the fleet !
    YNWA ! off to CL 2018.
    Sydney is Sky Blue HAL Premiers/Champions 2017 - the Double.

  11. #8
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    I always loved the Utes - why? it is V8 PRODUCTION car racing, back to grass roots stuff, and the new Utes will be looking the same, just some slight performance mods along with some safety mods, pretty much the same as the V8 Utes - production car racing at its best, bring it on!!!!!

  12. #9
    Miami Sprint. 4Vman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    I always loved the Utes - why? it is V8 PRODUCTION car racing, back to grass roots stuff, and the new Utes will be looking the same, just some slight performance mods along with some safety mods, pretty much the same as the V8 Utes - production car racing at its best
    To be fair the V8 Utes morphed into dedicated race cars about 10 years ago, very little "production" about them.

    Same as these utes. Custom diffs, gearboxes, brakes, suspension, ECU etc.

    All needed to make them safe, reliable and fast, but hardly representative of their manufactured capabilities.
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

  13. #10
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    The current V8 Utes still run manufacturers engines, gearbox, front and rear suspension (i.e. live rear axle on the Falcon and independent on the Commodore), interior furniture (except drivers seat)

    For the record I disagree with the whole 'pedal box' thing

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