Mercedes V8 Supercars program to be announced today
V8 Supercars will today announce that luxury German car maker Mercedes-Benz is set to join Holden, Ford and Nissan on its 2013 grid.
Orchestrated by Australian GT Championship squad Erebus Racing, the deal will see existing Ford outfit Stone Brothers Racing utilise Mercedes engines and bodywork through the company’s AMG Customer Sports department.
Owned by property tycoon Betty Klimenko, Erebus is understood to have been working on the deal with AMG since early this year.
Although Mercedes-Benz Australia previously made public its disapproval of such a program, it is expected that today’s announcement in Melbourne will come with the blessing of the marque’s local arm.
Its V8 Supercars entry is expected to be based on an updated Mercedes E-Class sedan, not scheduled to be unveiled until the Detroit Auto Show in January.
The news ensures the end of SBR’s 15-year association with Ford, in which time it has won three V8 Supercars Championships (2003-2005) and a single Bathurst 1000 (1998).
Current SBR sponsors IRWIN Tools and SP Tools and drivers Lee Holdsworth, Shane van Gisbergen and Tim Slade have already been locked in by the team for next year.
More details of the new program are set to be revealed at 1300 local time.