City Ford Rockdale in Sydney will be very proud to see our best seller ‘The Ford Ranger’ racing for the crown of Australia’s fastest dual cab ute in 2018. In an article by the ins and outs of what’s to come is highlighted.

Two completed models were officially unveiled today – the Ford Ranger and the Mitsubishi Triton – along with confirmation that the Mazda BT-50, Toyota HiLux, Isuzu D-Max, and the Holden Colorado will all be eligible and homologated.

Former championship-winning Supercars team owner Ross Stone has overseen the build of the first models, and been involved with designing the technical package that mandates a minimum weight of 1800 kilograms, rear-wheel-drive, turbo-diesel power, and a control gearbox and ECU.

Stone will also return as a team owner, with plans to field Fords in the series next season. The first Mitsubishis, meanwhile, belong to traditional Utes squad Sieders Racing Team, which has already signed well-known Utes driver 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.”

Eight-round calendar

An eight-round schedule has also been floated, which includes the Bathurst 1000.

The proposed calendar will kick off at the Supercars season-opening Adelaide 500, before what is likely to be a lengthy break ahead of the northern swing in Darwin and Townsville.

Queensland Raceway and Sydney Motorsport Park are next, followed by three high-profile rounds at Bathurst, on the Gold Coast, and finally in Newcastle.

Sponsor locked in

An inaugural season sponsor has also been confirmed, with East Coast Bullbars stepping up as the SuperUtes naming rights backer after a three-year stint supporting the Australian Rally Championship.

“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,” said Supercars managing director Matt Braid.

“This week the Ford Ranger and the Toyota HiLux 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 Specification

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 control specification kit

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 discs
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.