V8 SuperTourers confirms V8 Utes as official support class
The UDC V8 Ute Series will run at all six rounds of the V8 SuperTourer Series from 2013 in a three-year deal aimed to bolster the profile of the category.
Buoyed by the popularity of the V8 Ute series in Australia, the newly appointed chief executive of the V8ST Championship, Didier Debae, said the deal will raise the profile of the Utes and will help furnish more interest in the V8ST.
The agreement between the two series means the Utes will have its own dedicated TV programme to be aired on a delayed basis.
“With the right promotion we are very confident they (Utes) will continue to grow here in New Zealand,” Debae explained.
“We are excited to have the UDC V8 Utes at all six of our race meetings next year and we look forward to working with their strong category management team to leverage this new partnership.”
Under the new arrangement the Ute drivers will become eligible to compete at the annual V8ST scholarship.
Ash Cairns, the chairman of the V8 Ute Series, understands the new deal is crucial to lifting the profile of the category.
“The category needs to seize the opportunity to raise its profile and we think that this partnership with V8ST best fits our objectives to take V8 Ute racing to the next level,” Cairns commented.
“The primary commercial partner to our series, UDC Finance, are very supportive of this decision to partner with V8ST, and we look forward to the start of our 2013 season at Hampton Downs on February 16/17.
The V8ST will also work together with the Utes to pinpoint a suitable date to host another round of the popular Trans-Tasman V8 Ute Challenge Series – a Kiwi versus Aussie confrontation that has proved to be extremely popular.
Meanwhile V8 SuperTourers intends to announce key international driver signings for the maiden three-round endurance series by the end of the week.
Some drivers linked with V8 SuperTourers include perennial touring car favourite Alain Menu and IndyCar racers including New Zealand’s Chip Ganassi stalwart Scott Dixon.
The endurance series kicks off with the Fathers Day 400 at Taupo from September 1-2.
It is believed that the category is working on several big names for the second round of the endurance series at the 500km International at Pukekohe from October 26-28.
“We have some good names but I’m not too worried about Taupo as we are having some big names for Pukekohe,” Debae told Speedcafe.com.
“Once things are finalised with these international drivers I will be in a position to announce something later in the week.”
The final round of the V8ST long distance is scheduled for Powerbuilt Tools Raceway, Ruapuna in Christchurch from November 24-25.