Those fans of V8 Supercars were treated by great support categories, between practice, qualifying and the race. One of the most enjoyable, action-filled examples of that were the V8 Utes.
Born back in 2001, the category ran through till 2017 and thanks to the relatively low-cost to go racing, ambitious drivers and the want to put on a show, most races resulted in plenty of sideways action, crashing the curbs, bumping and grinding again the body panels of others, and of course, crashes.
As Ford and Holden killed off their V8 Falcon and Commodore Utes, the series, based on production vehicles, came to a close.
To replace the Utes, fans were presented with the SuperUtes Series. Entrants included the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton, Isuzu D-MAX, Holden Colorado and Mazda BT-50.
The category has been widely criticised for its uneventful racing and while Supercars don’t publish category-by-category audience figures, it’s certainly a massive drop off from the days of V8 Utes.
In 2019, we’re starting to see some actual Super Utes. Since the inception of the category, Ute manufacturers have released some stellar products into the market including the Ford Raptor, HSV Collorado Sports Cat, Nissan Navara NAVY and even the Mercedes-Benz X-Class EXY Urban.
The latest of those comes in the form of an aftermarket bolt-on pack (worth around $50k) to the already premium price of the X-Class of about $73K. Motoring.com.au has a great rundown of the specs of this variant but I know if these Utes were smashing panels around Australia’s great racing circuits, I’d definitely watch and suspect plenty from around the world would too.