Preparation for the inaugural ECB SuperUtes Series continues with Ross Stone Racing today giving its first Ford Ranger a maiden track test.
The Ranger completed over three hours of running at Norwell on the Gold Coast, much to the delight of team owner and Supercars Hall of Famer Ross Stone.
It followed initial testing of Craig Dontas’ Mitsubishi Triton at Norwell last month, which Stone was also involved in as part of his overarching role developing the new class.
The bulk of today’s driving was undertaken by experienced V8 Ute racer and current Norwell driving instructor, Stephen Robinson.
“We came to the track pretty well ready after a fair bit of time on the dyno,” Stone told Supercars.com.
“It’s at the stage where the engine as we ran it today is as we’ll go into next year. The task will be to get the other ones to match it.
“We had over three hours of track time today and it didn’t miss a beat, it was quite strong.
“Given a bit more time there’s probably a little more that can be gained, but it’s probably not a lot of use until we get everything else up to that level.
“The rest of the package didn’t require any tuning or anything. We just checked things over between runs and that was it.”
Having had only a brief dabble in GT racing since ending his Supercars involvement in 2014, Stone is relishing the chance to develop the SuperUtes.
RSR moved into the former Stone Brothers Racing workshop in Yatala, Queensland, earlier this year ahead of a planned multi-Ute assault on the maiden series.
Stone even had a brief steer of the Ranger today while initial engine tuning was taking place.
“I couldn’t be happier with how it’s going, but it’s just like anything in racing, it takes time to get things ready,” he said of the project.
“On track they look good. They don’t buck and weave or anything like that. They brake nicely as well.
“We’ve got some work to do on things like exhausts, but that will come with time.”
The Ranger and Triton SuperUtes will be on track together on Thursday and Friday, where a host of prospective competitors will drive the vehicles at Norwell.