One of V8 Supercars’ longest serving teams Stone Brothers Racing will merge with Erebus Motorsport to run three AMG E Class V8 Supercars in the Championship from 2013.
The agreement, which has been almost a year in the making since its initial concept in early 2011, is a reality with the newly formed team operating under a Customer Sports Program of AMG.
The announcement was made in Melbourne today by Stone Brothers Racing owner Ross Stone, Erebus Motorsport owner Betty Klimenko, Erebus Motorsport CEO Ryan Maddison and V8 Supercar Chairman Tony Cochrane.
- Erebus Motorsport and Stone Brothers Racing form new super alliance
- The team to field three V8 Supercars from 2013 series commencement
- Erebus Motorsport joins the grid through an AMG Customer Sports Program from 2013
- Stone Brothers Racing ends association with Ford Erebus Motorsport has been dominant in the Australian GT category with Mercedes-AMG’s SLS AMG GT3 race car.
Stone Brothers Racing this morning announced it will be ending its partnership with Ford after a relationship that began when the team was first formed in 1998 and won three Championships with Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall. The amicable split paved the way for the Erebus merger.
“Since SBR’s inception in 1998 Ford has backed the team and together we have enjoyed many successes including three Championship wins – two with Marcos Ambrose in 2003 and 2004, and again with Russell Ingall in 2005. We also won Bathurst with Jason Bright and Steven Richards in 1998,” Stone said.
“Leaving Ford was not an easy thing to do, but as car markets change here in Australia I felt the time was right for a new challenge and with Ford’s mutual agreement we have decided to part ways."
“We will be racing a Ford Falcon for the last time at Olympic Park in December and will see out our contract which ends this year. I’d like to thank Ford and all our supporters for their backing and we now look forward to entering a new era of racing with Erebus Motorsport.”
"There has been much speculation over what Erebus Motorsport, AMG and Mercedes-Benz were doing in relation to the Car of the Future – and we haven’t been in a position to say anything about this until right now,” said Erebus Motorsport CEO, Ryan Maddison.
“Our entry into V8 Supercars is an entirely Erebus Motorsport funded initiative as a private race team that is accessing the Customer Sports program of AMG."
“There is a lot of work required between now and the first event next year; by no means will it be an easy road with V8 Supercars being such a highly competitive environment."
“We do not underestimate the task ahead as a new team in V8 Supercars, but we have the expertise and experience of SBR which is considered to be one of the best teams in V8 Supercars. They are a professional outfit and know how to win races and Championships; we see a perfect fit for Erebus Motorsport."
We do not underestimate the task ahead as a new team in V8 Supercars.
“I have absolutely no doubt that the hard work that everyone here, in Germany and at SBR have put into this so far will be rewarding. The entire Erebus Motorsport team is proud that today we can make this announcement.”
The Erebus Motorsport-SBR alliance was made possible under the Car of the Future program. The three entries will run 5.0 litre engines with the AMG bodywork over the COTF chassis that is almost complete at SBR headquarters and due to be tested as a Ford in the coming weeks.
SBR will continue its testing program with Ford until the completion of their contract at the end of the year.
There has already been significant work on engine development and a team of engineers have been tasked with the project of developing a V8 Supercar specification 5.0 litre engine and the bodywork of the 2013 cars.
The very first engine was unveiled at today’s announcement.
With most V8 Supercar teams either already on track or about to be on track with the 2013 Car of the Future models, Cochrane said the sport was never in better shape to maintain its high growth curves domestically and internationally.
The Car of the Future program aims to cut running costs and encourage other marques to compete, in turn broadening fan and sponsor appeal. The sport intends to grow to 18 events world-wide across 40 weeks in the coming years.
“Having Erebus Motorsport combined with SBR on the grid says much for the evolution of V8 Supercars to an internationally recognised brand,” Mr Cochrane said.
“With the customer sports support of AMG, the marque joins another world-wide giant in Nissan in our Championship under the Erebus Motorsport and SBR partnership, further demonstrating that our sport is truly on the international stage.
“We are an extremely popular sport worldwide and arguably one of the most respected motorsport categories internationally. This is largely due to our professionalism, safety first approach, fantastic events, technological prowess, spectacular racing and our hugely respected teams and drivers.”
The three-year Car of the Future project, led by Mark Skaife and a key team of engineers, designers, car builders, V8 Supercar team personnel and drivers, was completed at the end of last year with 2013-spec Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon fully tested and on the showroom floor.
The cars, developed with the sponsorship support of Dunlop, represents the next generation V8 Supercars, paving the way for new marques.
Source: Stone Brothers Racing - Erebus Motorsport