There are quite a few races out there, all of varying prestige and importance. One of the most world renowned is, of course, the Indianapolis 500. It has been around for decades, a beacon of automotive racing.
There are other racing series, however, that hold just as much significance in other parts of the world as the illustrious Indianapolis 500.
One such series is the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series. This Australian racing series centred around coupe utilities. These are vehicles that have a passenger compartment at the front as well as a cargo tray at the rear.
The Beginning of the V8 Ute Racing Series and Beyond
The concept was initially conceived in 2000 by Ross Palmer, Ian McAlister, and Craig Denyer. All three had a substantial history in the racing game and were looking to create a race based solely around utilities.
More specifically, it was a race that was designed specifically for the Ford Falcon XR8 Utes as well as Holden Utes. All of the rounds of these races were then shared with Supercars Championship, which is Australia’s top motorsport championship.
The 2010 Australian V8 Ute Racing Series
The 2010 series in particular began on March 17, 2010 at the Adelaide Street Circuit before coming to a close on December 2, 2010 at the Homebush Street Circuit. The series ended after eight rounds.
In all, 52 different drivers took part in the series. Drivers of note included David Sieders, Y. Derums, Paul Morris, and Charlie Kovacs. The vehicles of choice were the Ford Falcon BF XR8 Ute, the Ford BF Falcon XR8 Ute, and the Holden VE Commodore SS Ute.
There were also a number of teams that took part in the series of races that year. Hi-Tech Motorsport, SEW Eurodrive Racing, Sage Automation Racing, Kanga Racing, Sieders Racing Team, Variety Group, JMG Maintenance Racing, and Brock Racing Engineering are just a few of the teams to partake in the event.
The Race Calendar
The series was comprised of eight rounds in all. They were all held as part of the support program for the V8 Supercar Championship Series. The races involved were: Adelaide Street Circuit, Winton Motor Raceway, Hidden Valley Raceway, Townsville Street Circuit, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Mount Panorama Circuit, Surfers Paradise Street Circuit, and the Homebush Street Circuit.
After nine months and eight circuit races, the series was won by Grant Johnson. Johnson was driving a Holden VE SS Ute for Hi-Tech Motorsport. The series is not only a test of driving skill, but perseverance and endurance by some of the finest drivers on the planet.
The series folded after 16 years, coming to an end in 2017. The most successful driver ever was Ryal Harris, who managed to become the first three-time winner of the series back in 2015.
The race folded because production of the Ford Falcon utility stopped in 2016 and the Holden Ute followed the next year. This series was followed by SuperUtes, which was launched in 2018.