V8 Ute Racing Series
|Category||Pickup truck racing|
|Country||Australia and New Zealand|
|Last Drivers' champion||Kim Jane|
|Official website||V8 Utes Australia|
The V8 Ute Racing Series, known originally as the V8 BRute Utes was an Australian motor racing series for utilities, derived from the Australian Production Car Championship. It was conceived in 2000 by PROCAR chief Ross Palmer, V8 Ute Patron Ian McAlister and later category manager of SPHERIX Craig Denyer and launched March 2001, as V8 Brute Utes, at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. The series was instantly popular, in part because of aggressive driving style of competitors, a style encouraged by the use of reverse grid racing, but also because of its very fan friendly marketing which included gimmicks like referring to each of its drivers by a nickname.
For most V8 Utes racing series entry was via a franchise, which had been limited to 32 in number, 16 specifically to be Ford Falcon (FG) XR8 Utes, 16 Holden (VE) Utes. All the rounds were shared with Supercars Championship, Australia's top motorsport championship.
Holden driver Rod Wilson was the inaugural series winner. Sydney's Warren Luff, took back to back victories in 2002 and 2003. Holden again returned to form in 2004 with Damien White taking the series title, before defecting to Ford and taking the title again in 2005 by a narrow margin to Melbourne's Marcus Zukanovic.
Ryal Harris is the series most successful driver, becoming the first three-time series winner in 2015. Luff and White have each won two titles.
The series covers eight rounds at various tracks throughout Australia. The reverse grid racing format is extremely popular with the race fans. Drivers have included former Australian NASCAR champion Kim Jane, actor George Elliot, country music singer Adam Brand, television host Grant Denyer, driving instructor Gary Baxter, former Waratahs and Australian Sevens rugby union player Ben Dunn, former Manly Sea Eagles and Sydney Roosters National Rugby League player Jack Elsegood who was also the 2009 series winner, and former Supercar drivers Cameron McConville and Nathan Pretty.
The Ford Falcon utility ceased production in 2016 and the Holden Ute ceased production in 2017. As a consequence moves began to wrap the series up at the end of 2016, but the replacement, the SuperUtes series was not ready for a 2017 launch. SuperUtes, featuring turbo diesel powered dual-cab Utility vehicles, will launch in 2018 with a new series for old V8 Utes to start later in 2018.
- V8 Ute Racing Series
|2001||Rod Wilson||Holden SS Ute|
|2002||Warren Luff||Ford Falcon Ute|
|2003||Warren Luff||Ford Falcon Ute|
|2004||Damien White||Holden SS Ute|
|2005||Damien White||Ford Falcon Ute|
|2006||Marcus Zukanovic||Ford Falcon Ute|
|2007||Grant Johnson||Holden SS Ute|
|2008||Layton Crambrook||Ford Falcon Ute|
|2009||Jack Elsegood||Ford Falcon Ute|
|2010||Grant Johnson||Holden SS Ute|
|2011||Chris Pither||Holden SS Ute|
|2012||Ryal Harris||Ford Falcon Ute|
|2013||Ryal Harris||Ford Falcon Ute|
|2014||Kris Walton||Ford Falcon Ute|
|2015||Ryal Harris||Ford Falcon Ute|
|2016||David Sieders ||Holden SS Ute|
|2017||Kim Jane||Holden SS Ute|
- Summer Series
|2004||Grant Denyer||Ford Falcon Ute|
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