Sep 19 2012
V8 Supercars’ longest serving team 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 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.
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 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.
Ross Stone, Stone Brothers Racing:
“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.”
Ryan Maddison, Erebus Motorsport CEO:
“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. 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.
Tony Cochrane, V8 Supercar Chairman:
“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.”
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.
David McCarthy, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific:
“Our position on entering V8 Supercars has not changed, we have jointly with AMG approved to offer Erebus Motorsport the opportunity to purchase the requested technology and support via the Customer Sports program. Erebus is a highly valued customer and they have an existing relationship with AMG via the Customer Sports program. The Erebus Motorsport- SBR entry into V8 Supercars is an extension of that relationship.
— Ends —
About Stone Brothers Racing
Stone Brothers Racing is one of the premier teams in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship and has built an enviable record since its inception in 1998. SBR has won three championships for Ford; in 2003 and 2004 with Marcos Ambrose and in 2005 with Russell Ingall.
Brothers Ross and Jimmy Stone, New Zealanders born and bred, operate the team from the Gold Coast in Queensland. Behind the scenes a crew of 60 work around-the-clock to maintain SBR’s high level of motor racing professionalism.
About Erebus Motorsport
Founded in 2011, Erebus Motorsport has quickly become one of the most recognised Australian motorsport operations in the world.
With the team’s sole owner a female, Erebus Motorsport is unique in major league sports, particularly motorsport, and standing apart from the crowd is at the centre of the organisation’s existence.
Erebus Motorsport arrived on the world stage when it became the first AMG Customer Sports team outside Europe to take the SLS AMG GT3 to victory, then was awarded the ‘Best Presented Car’ award at the AMG Customer Sports Awards in Germany in 2011.
Starting with one of the stunning ‘Gullwings’ in 2011, Erebus Motorsport expanded its operation in 2012 to finish second in the Bathurst 12 Hour and now has two SLS’ in the Australian GT Championship, which it currently leads.
The V8 Supercars program announced by Erebus Motorsport is just one part of its overall goal in 2013 and beyond.
About V8 Supercars
V8 Supercars is a touring car racing category run as an international series under Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) regulations. It is the premier motorsport category in Australasia and one of Australia’s fastest growing sports.
By 2011 the competition had millions of television viewers in Australia, an international broadcast footprint and had achieved multi-million dollar sponsorship at the Series and team levels. V8 Supercars is one of the few truly national sports in Australia, with 14 events held across Australia, plus an event in New Zealand and in Abu Dhabi, then another in Austin, Texas, from next year. On average, 126,000 people attended events in Australia and New Zealand in 2011.
V8 Supercars was created in 1997 to professionally manage, market and promote the sport of V8 Supercars racing around the world.
Until May, 2011, V8 Supercars was owned 25 per cent by Sports & Entertainment Limited (SEL) and 75% by TEGA, the body representing the teams. Following the investment of Australian Motor Racing Partners Pty Limited (AMRP), V8 Supercars Australia is owned approximately 40% by the teams and management and approximately 60% by AMRP. More information at www.v8supercars.com.au