Two-day Winton SuperUtes test planned
The ECB SuperUtes field will take part in a two-day test at Winton next month as it continues development of the category.
The test comes off the back of the inaugural SuperUtes event at Adelaide, which saw 10 cars take to the circuit.
It also witnessed a number of reliability issues, similar to those seen in pre-season testing, though Sieders Racing Team boss Luke Sieders believes they were down to teams learning the new machinery more than an inherent unreliability in the cars.
“I think once the teams get their head around how to keep these things in their window, and then (category engine builder) Craig Hasted and the guys can start leaning on the power a bit more, it’ll be a pretty good package,” Sieders told Speedcafe.com.
“A lot of the guys haven’t really had much to do with the whole turbo aspect of it, and that is a limiting factor at the moment.
“There’s some unique stuff that you’ve got to do to make sure you keep all the hoses on the cars.
“Everyone’s getting their head around the right clamps they’ve got to use, and the right hoses they’ve got to use so that the cars become reliable.
“Once the teams have got their head around that sort of stuff, which I’m pretty sure everyone’s just about there now, it’ll just roll on from there.”
The test is also an opportunity for drivers to become more familiar with their cars, and provide an opportunity to explore set-up options.
“As far as set-up wise for our cars, we have only tweaked the odd ride height and stuff,” Sieders explained.
“We’ve got major geometry changes that we can still adjust on this car that we just haven’t poured any time into that yet because we’re still fine tuning the running of the cars, so to speak.
“Once we get down and get some serious testing, and try all these geometry changes that are built into the cars for us to tune with, I think we’re going to find considerable differences in speed.
“(In) Craig Woods’ car, he won the round (in Adelaide), we did not touch the set-up on that car all weekend,” he added.
“We kept it the same setup as what we rolled in there with because he was comfortable in it and we just worked on tuning Craig and his driving style, and every session he went quicker was because he was adapting himself.”
Primarily designed to give drivers more time in the cars, it will be overseen by Supercars officials with a view to potentially tweaking parity between the different makes.
“Supercars will be down there, absolutely. We’ll have representatives from our technical department and also from a category management point of view,” category manager Kurt Sakzewski told Speedcafe.com.
“We’ll definitely take the opportunity not only to continue the development and the learning program around the actual utes themselves and the engines, but also to see if we can, if we need to, if we can improve on the parity program that we’ve already set up, then we’ll take that opportunity for sure.”
Scheduled for April 12-13, the test comes a month ahead of the second round of the SuperUtes series, which will be held at Winton on May 18-20.