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SUPERUTES BREAK COVER IN TOWNSVILLE

The official unveil of the new Dual-cab SuperUtes - Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

The official unveil of the new Dual-cab SuperUtes – Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

SUPERCARS’ FIRST dual-cab SuperUtes were unveiled today in Townsville as a preview for the 2018 series.

Two of the new turbo diesel-powered racers, a Ford Ranger and a Mitsubishi Triton, were shown to the public at Reid Park, and will race in the series next year. Four other models, the Mazda BT-50, Toyota Hilux, Isuzu D-Max and Holden Colorado, have completed homologation and will be eligible to compete in an eight-round series.

The series will be backed by East Coast Bullbars (ECB), which has a long-time involvement in the series.

Supercars Managing Director Matt Braid said the unveiling was a significant milestone for the ECB SuperUtes Series in welcoming ECB to the sport and with the invaluable input of consultant Ross Stone in developing the category.

The covers coming off the Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton SuperUtes - Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

The covers coming off the Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton SuperUtes – Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

“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.”

The first team to publicly commit to the new racers is Sieders Racing Team, which will run multiple Mitsubishi Tritons. Craig Dontas has already been confirmed as one of their drivers in 2018.

“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.”

The new SuperUtes break covers - Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

The new SuperUtes break covers – Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

A calendar for the inaugural ECB SuperUtes Series are to be confirmed but a provisional program has been announced, subject to change. After a start in Adelaide in March, the series will move to Hidden Valley, Townsville, Ipswich, Sydney Motorsport Park, Bathurst, the Gold Coast and finished at Newcastle in November.

Dates are expected to be released alongside the full 2018 Supercars schedule.

Make sure you follow Auto Action on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates throughout the Supercars round up in Townsville this week.