No concerns over SuperUtes stability at Mount Panorama
Leading SuperUtes competitors have no qualms over the stability of the SuperUtes in their first visit to the Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit.
The entry to The Chase is a particularly fast, high-load corner, but is one of several at Bathurst with such characteristics.
The SuperUtes having a higher centre of gravity than the V8 Utes which they took the place of on the Supercars support card, and saw two rollovers in a single weekend at Queensland Raceway in July.
Luke Sieders’ Sieders Racing Team will be running six utes in the 13-car ECB SuperUtes Series field this weekend, including that of series leader Craig Woods in a Toyota Hilux.
He believes that Mount Panorama poses no problem for the SuperUtes.
“No matter what you’re in, if you have a moment through The Chase and you go sideways through that sand trap, it’s not going to be pretty,” Sieders told Speedcafe.com.
“We’ve had V8 Utes roll through that sand trap and Supercars has had Fabian Coulthard roll through that sand trap.
“Is the risk greater? Probably not; it’s the same sort of scenario for everyone else.
“Is there a risk of the cars getting sideways and rolling on asphalt? Not at all.
“We’ve seen the cars touch and make contact and spin around, and even at a fast pace, it’s fine.”
Ryal Harris, currently second in the series, had a similar view.
“They’re quite stable to drive and they’re really predictable,” the Peters Motorsport driver told Speedcafe.com.
“Obviously some people have big moments, I’ve had some big slides, and I think at Sandown it was the first time I’ve spun out on my own in 10 years, so they are a handful.
“You’re going to be flat through The Chase but you don’t really feel that high centre of gravity until you hit a kerb or obviously if you go into a sand trap sideways you know about it as well.
“Across the top of the hill they’ll be pretty fun because they move around a bit.
“The Dipper’s probably going to be the biggest thing; they might actually get some two-wheel action in The Dipper.
“I reckon The Chase will be fine; they’re pretty stable, they’re not totally unpredictable or anything.”
Both agreed that slipstreaming will play a part in this weekend’s racing, given the 1.111km length of Mountain Straight and 1.916km of Conrod Straight.
While Sieders said that cars are now at a level such that they “didn’t look too bad” on Sandown’s own pair of drag strips last time out, he and Harris noted the importance of maintaining momentum through and out of corners.
“There is actually a fair bit in it because they do punch a big hole, and I reckon there’s very good chance we’ll see some decent slipstreaming,” said Sieders.
“The biggest thing for Sandown was that the guys that got onto the straight really well looked like they had a significant advantage down the straight.
“That’s going to be the same sort of deal at Bathurst; maximising your exits, especially in such a big car which is a little bit underpowered and has got a fair bit of weight to it.”
The SuperUtes will be on-track for the first time tomorrow at 0815 local time/AEST, followed by a second 20-minute practice session at 1435.