Two-time Australian Production Car class champion Adam Dodd will make a cameo in an expanded Peters Motorsport line-up for Round 1 of the 2019 ECB SuperUtes Series.
A dealer principal from sponsor West End Mazda, Dodd has been called up to drive one of Peters’ two BT-50s for the season opener after the loss of a major backer forced Aaron Cameron out of the Adelaide round.
Dodd, whose entry will carry West End signage, was only locked in yesterday and had his first laps in a test at Queensland Raceway this morning.
He will join a three-car team comprised also of inaugural SuperUtes Series winner Ryal Harris in another Mazda and fellow debutant Ben Falk in a Holden Colorado.
“Our business, West End Mazda, has been a supporter of the category since the beginning and obviously disappointed not to see Aaron out there next weekend but certainly keen to jump in and have a go too,” Dodd told Speedcafe.com.
His production car titles, in Class C in 2012 and 2013, came in a Mazda3 and Mazda6 respectively, a far cry from the big BT-50 but nevertheless pleasing to drive according to Dodd.
“It’s fantastic, it’s actually surprisingly enjoyable to drive,” he said.
“The braking is actually quite phenomenal; for a car of its size, you don’t think you can brake as late as you can, so I’m still getting my head around it.
“(I’m) Excited and nervous; I know these ute guys play for keeps. It makes me a little nervous but that’s alright because I supply all the panels anyway!”
Brett Peters, who manages the team’s commercial functions, is hopeful that teenager Cameron will be back in Car #95 for the rest of the season.
“Bushranger (previous major sponsor) weren’t able to continue because the drought did have a big impact on their business and they tried for a while to see if they could do the juggle but unfortunately it just meant that it didn’t give us a lot of time,” he explained to Speedcafe.com.
“Whilst we’ve got a couple of really good opportunities maybe coming for Aaron for this season, no decisions could be made before Adelaide and in those situations, you don’t want to push for a ‘no’ just to get an answer (but) we’re quite confident that one of them will come together.”
Cameron finished fifth in the standings with a race win on the Gold Coast last year in SuperUtes, while also winning the KZ2 title in the Australian Kart Championship.
Falk, meanwhile, will pilot the Colorado previously of Ross Stone Racing, which has switched Kiwi Tom Alexander to an Isuzu D-Max after picking up manufacturer support.
Harris will therefore be on double duty when both series start at the Superloop Adelaide 500 on February 28-March 3.