V8 SuperUtes points tighten and TCR star’s debut
Tuesday 3rd October, 2023 - 3:05pm
The points spread has tightened as the V8 SuperUtes head to Mount Panorama for the fifth round.
Adam Marjoram leads the series but three-round winner Aaron Borg is closing the gap. Meanwhile, a TCR star is set to make a one-off entry and debut on the mountain.
In the round preceding Bathurst this week, Borg put himself back into title contention when he steered his Isuzu D-MAX to victory at Sandown. After the 2022 series winner won the first two rounds, he dropped a round when overseas as Round 3 unfolded at The Bend. He trails points leader Marjoram and his Mitsubishi Triton by 28 points with Bathurst and the Gold Coast remaining.
Making his debut in the series is Supercheap Auto TCR Australia driver Tom Oliphant. The Englishman will race in Dean Brooking’s Hilux. It will be Oliphant’s debut on the Mountain, and he will use the weekend to gain knowledge in readiness for the TCR World Tour at the Bathurst International in November.
Third in the series, 12 points adrift, is David Sieders in a Mazda BT-50, just three points ahead of Ryal Harris who started the year, and the first three rounds, in a Toyota Hilux before he switched to Chris Formosa’s Ford Ranger.
There are another three drivers less than 100 points of the series leader. Craig Woods (Hilux), George Gutierrez (Holden Colorado) and Speedcafe-supported driver Jimmy Vernon (Triton).
The category has gone through something of a metamorphosis in 2023. Competitor numbers have increased significantly along with internal restructuring, the streamlining of communications and operations, while teams has stepped up in their level of presentation and professionalism.
Many off-track key roles have broken new ground, being filled by women at a national level and include positions of operations, communications, photography, engineering, mechanics and administration.
Nineteen of the V8-engined SuperUtes will tackle the mountain. They will have their only practice session at 07:55 AEDT with Qualifying at 11:25. There will be four races across the following three days with the first on Friday at 08:25. Races 2 and 3 are on Saturday at 08:15 and 14:15 before Race 4 on Sunday morning at 07:25.