Erebus Motorsport CEO Ryan Maddison has confirmed that his V8 Supercar operation will scale back to two cars next season.
The team inherited a three-car structure when it purchased long-time Ford squad Stone Brothers Racing late last year.
It was announced Friday morning that James Rosenberg’s #47 Racing Entitlements Contract, which has been used to run Tim Slade this year, will move to Walkinshaw Racing for 2014.
That leaves Erebus with its own #4 REC and the #9 REC that remains under the ownership of SBR, but is due to be purchased by Erebus at the end of next season.
The move to scale back follows 14 months of unprecedented investment in the team by its billionaire owner Betty Klimenko, and comes amid a financial climate that could see the grid dip below 28 cars next year.
Erebus, which had contemplated a move to four cars as recently as September, remains on the hunt for new naming rights backers following the withdrawal of IRWIN Tools, SP Tools and Heavy Haulage Australia.
The team provided a written statement from Maddison when contacted by Speedcafe.com in the wake of the Walkinshaw announcement.
“We wish James Rosenberg all the best in his new venture and he has been a great partner for Erebus and preceding that SBR,” said Maddison.
“Whilst there are a number of REC options out there, it is Erebus’ intention to compete with two cars in the 2014 V8 Supercar Championship and we look forward to announcing all our plans for the V8, GT3 and V8 Ute programs in the near future.
“Right now our focus is ending the 2013 season on a high at The Sydney NRMA Motoring and Services 500 at Sydney Olympic Park.”
With Lee Holdsworth staying at the AMG customer team and the recruitment of current Ford Performance Racing star Will Davison set to be announced in the new year, Maro Engel will be left out of a drive.
The German currently sits last of the full-time drivers in 28th in the points standings after a trying rookie season.
Engel recently competed at Macau with Erebus’ GT team, which is currently working on plans for further participation in the GT Asia series next year.