News & Events

» Huge Boost to V8 Utes Field as New Season Approaches

– Press Release –

The RYCO 24•7 V8 Utes championship is poised for a big season with 15-16 utes ready to line up on the grid for the February 10th -12th weekend at Taupo International Motorsport Park – a big increase from last year. Several race winners from previous seasons are back from hibernation while some exciting new talent has joined the championship promising  to push the pace. Increased TV coverage will capture the action live, ensuring that more viewers on both sides of the Tasman will get a front-row seat to the action.

Current RYCO 24•7 V8 Utes champion Peter Ward will be racing  – in Round One at least. D1NZ drift series campaigner Blair Gribble-Bowring steps up from turning wrenches for Daniel Ludlam to spinning some wheels of his own, after snapping up Roger Nees’ immaculately presented Ford BF ute. Keep an eye on the team of Blair and Daniel racing with the livery ‘Race Gear Rentals’.

Perpetual front-runner Brett Rudd will be alternating drives with son Josh having bought Peter Ward’s spare Holden ute during the off-season, though they’re not expected to be racing until Round Two. Standout talent Glen Collinson (two race wins and two 2nd placings in the 2019/20 season alone) is back, though technical delays may see him miss Round One. There’s also strong possibility that previous race winner and seasoned NZV8 Touring Cars racer, Nick Ross, will be back for more.

Former RYCO 24•7 business owner Shaggy together with Brent Main & Simon McLeod will all be wearing RYCO 24•7 livery and all racing Ford BFs. We may see team tactics play out in a bid to keep the Fords at the front. With several strong teams this year, Simon Ludlam has proposed we run a teams challenge championship – a great idea that’s currently being discussed amongst drivers.

As an added incentive, the Yokohama Scholarship is back with a set of tyres going to one lucky driver each round. All RYCO 24•7  V8 Utes run the same Advan AO48 control tyre, so this gesture from Yokohama NZ is a great boost to the series. You’ll spot the Yokohama tyre winner, not only from the massive smile on his face but by the huge Yokohama  sticker on his rear tailgate.

It’s not just the field that has increased – TV exposure has also been ramped up, giving competitors and their loyal sponsors many hours of valuable airtime throughout the season. Races in rounds one, three and four will be broadcast live on Sky Sport in New Zealand and Fox Sports in Australia. Sunday afternoon races will be simulcast live on TV3’s CRC Motorsport. We’ll also be getting significant coverage on the popular Speedweek series which screens nationwide on Australia’s SBS network.

Some last-minute thrashing may see numbers grow even further, but right now it’s looking to be around a 50% increase on last year’s field – a season when barely 2 seconds separated first from last in qualifying, times. It’s not only the field of utes that has grown – new additions to the families of several drivers could see the V8 utes pits resembling something of a creche, giving a new generation of motorsport enthusiasts some early insights into the sport.

Excitement isn’t restricted to the drivers – RYCO General Manager NZ, Simon MacLeod is particularly amped-up about the upcoming season. Simon and his team are regular attendees at each round, as race meetings bring RYCO 24•7 personnel and their clients together from around the country. With most race weekends featuring two practice sessions, qualifying, then three races, there’ll be plenty to hold their attention.

Here’s the schedule for the RYCO 24• 7 V8 Utes Championship season:

Round 1                Taupo International Motorsport Park  February 10th -12th

Round 2                Pukekohe Park March 24th -26th

Round 3                Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon April 14th -16th

Round 4                Hampton Downs Motorsport Park May 5th -7th

Content credit to LIVE Advertiser – Glenn Churches who shares with us news reports about the event!
Photography Credit: Dillon Photo NZ

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