Supercars has affirmed that it will hand over management rights of the ECB SuperUtes Series to team owners, in conjunction with a switch to V8 engines.
The centrepiece of that plan is to replace the turbo diesel engines which have powered SuperUtes for the first two seasons of the series with a spec petrol V8 in a bid to win over fans.
Supercars had taken over the V8 Ute Racing Series in 2016 when the previous ownership company went into administration, and sought to introduce SuperUtes as a replacement midway through 2017 before that was pushed back to the start of 2018.
A release from Supercars now confirms that team owners will take back control, stating “The Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) has been informed of the decision and will work with the new entity to formulate a new CMA.”
The SuperUtes are nevertheless set to remain at Supercars events as a support category in 2020, with a calendar expected to span around six rounds to soon be finalised.
“Supercars recognises the investment made by SuperUtes teams in establishing the Series,” said Supercars Chief Operating Office, Shane Howard.
“The teams are now able to determine their future independently.
“The competitors are best equipped to move the category forward. Supercars will assist in the transition to an independent entity, including supplying all technical data and commercial information and we look forward to having them continue to be part of support category program.”
Speaking to Speedcafe.com, Sieders Racing Team owner Luke Sieders, who is responsible for around half the entries in the series, said that taking over category management would allow teams to “control our own destiny and make a path for ourselves as we see it.”
The final specification of the V8 engine is yet to be confirmed, although it is known that an LS is a popular option among some competitors.
The technical package would otherwise remain largely unchanged, with dual cab utilities continuing to form the basis of the series.
A number of technical updates have been ushered into SuperUtes in its first season-and-a-half, with recent notable changes being the suspension upgrade and R-spec tyre introduced at separate rounds in May this year.
Introducing V8s should reduce costs and also provide some reliability gain in addition to the hoped-for improvement in fan support of the series.