Isuzu SuperUte starts first full test
The Isuzu D-Max SuperUte has hit Winton Motor Raceway along with the bulk of the SuperUtes field for the first of two days of testing.
Driver Steve Wilson, who shook the car down at Norwell Motorplex in late-March, completed around 75 laps of the rural Victorian circuit which will host Round 2 of the ECB SuperUtes Series next month.
The D-Max is the last of six models to be homologated for the inaugural season of SuperUtes, having missed Round 1 in Adelaide due to a delay in engine development which is understood to have related in part to difficulties in accessing engine data from the manufacturer.
Today’s running represents its first on a full motor racing circuit and likewise Wilson’s first in a SuperUte, which he will continue tomorrow with an anticipated 20 to 30 laps in the morning.
“They’re fun to drive, they feel much more like a race car than the V8 Ute did with the components that are fitted to the car,” the former V8 Utes driver told Speedcafe.com.
“Today’s our first day to have it on a proper track and get some laps in it, 75 laps or so today; no major problems and the car felt really good.
“(I’m) Just learning the car and playing with some set-up and looking forward to the next round.
“Ross Stone’s been helping me run the car and he’s been helping me with the build and running it and we had a good day today.”
All but one team is attending the test with Peters Motorsport having elected to not send its pair of Mazda BT-50s down from Queensland.
The Ross Stone Racing-prepared D-Max is joined by the team’s own Holden Colorado and Team 18’s Colorado, while Sieders Racing Team is present with its fleet of Mitsubishi Tritons and Toyota Hiluxes, including those of customer Western Sydney Motorsport.
Ranger Racing rounds out the field, with driver Christopher Formosa telling Speedcafe.com that the team has been working on achieving weight savings in the Ford Ranger.
“When we turned up to Adelaide I think we were about 200kg heavier than the other utes so we’ve concentrated on trying to drop a bit of weight here and there,” said Formosa.
“At the moment I think we’re still pretty heavy but we’re obviously just trying to get it as light as possible.
“Today we pretty much kept it as the same set-up (as in Adelaide).
“Tomorrow we’re going to play around with the shocks, shock placement and stuff.
“We’re trying to concentrate on entering the corner smoother and we think a different shock set-up would help with that, so (we’ll) try and get a bit more speed out of the corners.”
Testing continues tomorrow before Round 2 back at Winton on May 18-20.