Producing excitement for race fans and creating an affordable pathway to Supercars are the two primary objectives for the revitalised Haltech V8 SuperUte Series, according to newly-appointed category manager, James Stewart.
Stewart is highly-respected in the motorsport industry; his Driving Solutions business facilitates a range of motorsport events and experiences, as well as servicing the wider automotive sector with activities such as corporate driver training, vehicle launches and product testing.
Stewart was also responsible for a past favourite of race fans:the VB Challenge stunt competitions, which saw drivers such as Mark Skaife, Jason Bright, Paul Radisich and Steven Johnson competing in motorkhana-style contests at Supercars events in the early 2000s.
Stewart is now looking forward to the challenge of operatingthe SuperUte Series, and is confident the new V8 formula will strike a chord with the public.
“During the 2018 and ’19 seasons, it was clear that fans weren’t falling in love with the diesel engines, but if you looked past that, a lot of the racing was very entertaining,” Stewart said.
“The control V8 motors and lowered ride heights will create a formula that is a lot more attractive to the spectators, while also making it much easier to manage parity between the different manufacturers.
“Some of the fundamental ingredients, like the bodyshells, are staying the same, which is important – the twin cab ute segment is one of the largest in the Australian automotive landscape, so we believe its important for our commercial partners to present vehicles that closely resemble the ones people are driving on the road.”
Stewart said the V8 SuperUte Series will cater for a range of competitors, but entertaining fans is the top priority.
“With the control V8 engines and other uniform components, it will ensure equality between cars, which will enable the most talented drivers to showcase their abilities,” he said.
“It will be a cost-effective category for young drivers to get experience in a V8-powered race car, but our number one focus is entertainment.
“The previous V8 Ute Series, with Commodores and Falcons, was successful because it produced plenty of action andplaced a strong emphasis on the personalities of the drivers. That’s what we need to emulate.”
Stewart’s immediate priority is helping drivers and teams hit the track.
“At the moment, everyone is working tirelessly to try and gettheir SuperUtes on the grid, so this year I’ll be assisting drivers and teams to make their life as easy as possible.
“We’ll create an environment that is professional and friendly, and that will naturally make the series attractive for drivers and teams to join in 2022 and beyond.”
The Haltech V8 SuperUte Series commences at The Bend Motorsport Park on 8-9 May, with the entry list for the opening round to be announced shortly.