V8 Supercars has moved to assure V8 Ute competitors that their troubled series will kick off at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide as scheduled.
The category’s future is in doubt following requests from competitors to be released from the obligation to field an entry at every round of the series.
Australian V8 Ute Racing Pty Ltd, which represents the category’s 16 Ford and 16 Holden shareholders, is set to be voluntarily wound up as a result, with its Category Management Agreement handed back to CAMS.
Following discussions with CAMS CEO Eugene Arocca and Clipsal 500 CEO Mark Warren, V8 Supercars has elected to take over the running of the class for the Adelaide event.
A meeting between V8 Supercars and the V8 Ute competitors has been slated to take place at the March 3-6 Adelaide event as a more permanent solution is sought.
The turmoil comes 12 months after V8 Supercars announced a technical partnership with V8 Utes intended to transition the category into a new era.
Despite talk of introducing a purpose-built chassis with SUV-based Ute bodies, a lack of clarity remains on how the series will look beyond the current generation of Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore based vehicles.
“It’s no secret that we are interested in the category long term, but it was important to keep the competitor base together and offer an opportunity to discuss the model for the remainder of the 2016 season and for the longer term,” said V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton.
“There is no guarantee that we will step in permanently, it will depend on the model we present to the board and if we believe there is enough strategic interest from manufacturers and from the competitor base. We look forward to discussing it in Adelaide.”