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SUPERUTES DELAYED TO 2018

V8 Utes won't be replaced until 2018 now - Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

V8 Utes won’t be replaced until 2018 now – Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

By PHIL BRANAGAN

Supercars’ new SuperUtes category will be delayed until 2018.

Plans that the series, which has been in development for a year, would start racing at Townsville on July 7-9 have been set aside, after a series of meetings at Phillip Island over the weekend.

Supercars is expected to confirm the delay in an announcement in the next week.

The news comes after a recent number of changes in the category, including the appointment of John Casey to oversee the implementation of the new class.

V8 Utes in action at Phillip Island this weekend - Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

V8 Utes in action at Phillip Island this weekend – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Former V8 Supercar team owner Ross Stone and Casey met with competitors at Phillip Island last Friday in what has been described to Auto Action as a “very positive” series of meetings. One team principal told AA that the meetings underlined that there was “real progress” being made that would produce “mutual confidence” between Supercars and the competitors currently racing in the V8 Utes series.

AA understands that one supporter of the new diesel-powered category was so concerned that little progress was forthcoming that three Utes that it had earmarked for the series had been reclaimed.

Hopes are high that the cars, which are owned by a dealer, may be returned to the team and that a number of dealers or importers, which have been monitoring developments, will shortly commit to the series.