Harris calls for support of SuperUtes program

Ryal Harris says more support is needed for SuperUtes to succeed

Ryal Harris believes more support is needed for the SuperUtes concept if the series is to be a success.

The former three-time V8 Utes championship winner was initially critical of the concept, though says recent changes to the structure of the SuperUtes program have convinced him to change his tune.

“The original concept, which was the rail chassis car with the panels over the top and the Coyote engine in it, I still think that would have been really cool,” Harris told Speedcafe.com.

“But, having done more research, and now that Ross Stone’s involved and there’s a bit more progress has been made, I think the new concept is going to be really good for market relevance to get the manufacturers excited.

“Now Supercars and particularly Ross Stone’s involved, he’s put everyone’s mind at ease.

“Having that peace of mind, that there are heavyweights behind it, that’s what put my mind at ease.

“There’s so many different manufacturers. There are Chinese brands, there’s Volkswagen, there’s Nissan, there’s Toyota, there’s Mazda, there’s Ford, Holden, there’s just so many different brands and it’s such a big segment of the Australian market.

Stone met with teams at Winton where they discussed timelines for the build, along with a number of other details relating to the ute’s design.

“They basically just ran us through how the build is going to go, even down to details on how the engines will be set up and have parity applied,” Harris explained.

“Even things like making sure we’re not blowing a heap of black smoke, they’ve thought about everything.”

Harris has secured a deal with Mazda to compete in a BT50, with a partially completed version set to be part of a display at Townsville next month.

However, Harris believes more support is needed if the new category is to succeed, and that Supercars could do more to stimulate that interest.

“They just need to get the excitement up, don’t keep everyone in the dark,” he reasoned.

“Tell them that the TV’s going to be good, they’re going to race at the big rounds and Supercars are one hundred percent behind it. I think once people have that comfort of mind there’s no reason why people shouldn’t just put their hat in and have a crack.

“They just need to up the communications and put a big prospectus together so there are no grey areas and everyone knows what’s what.

“People need to get off the fence and get in amongst it and give it a crack,” he added.

“I think there’s a lot of people sitting back, manufacturers included, but if everyone did that no-one would be racing.

“There are some new guys that are involved in the category that are behind it, and hopefully some of the old guys will get behind it as well.

“Once that first couple of cars are built everyone’s going to be very interested to see how they go. Then people will make their mind up.”

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