Will Brown has cited his move to the Erebus-aligned Image Racing in Super2 as a key element of his progression to a full-time drive with Erebus Motorsport itself in 2021.
Brown has already been signed for a seat in next year’s Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, and will shift from Anton De Pasquale’s Penrite Racing entry to that of David Reynolds in this year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup.
In conjunction with those developments, it was also announced that he would move from Eggleston Motorsport, where he has raced since debuting in the second tier in 2017, to Image Racing’s Dunlop Super2 Series team.
Image has gradually become Erebus’ de facto junior team and the Terry Wyhoon-owned squad includes a number of Erebus staff members such as its team manager, Brian Cottee, which Brown says is a major plus.
“I’ll be working with some of the engineers and mechanics that I’m used to working with,” he explained to Speedcafe.com.
“That’s the big thing; I’m with the team, the team’s helping out in Super2, I’ll be aligned with them.
“I’ll be hanging around Erebus a lot as well, I’m with them for a multi-year deal, so it’s going to be great working with them all and really having that atmosphere around me this year (as) we go for the Super2 championship.
“When I step up into the main series in 2021, I’m still around the same group of people, we know what we all expect out of each other and we just push onto bigger and better things.”
Already landing a Championship ride for 2021 is a significant turnaround for the 21-year-old who feared at one point that he might not even be able to afford Super2 this year, and would have to graft his way onto the Championship grid next year.
“It’s a massive relief because for young guys right now, it’s not a clear pathway into Supercars, and it’s very difficult to get in,” said Brown.
“It’s always been hard, but I think it’s harder than ever right now, so for me it’s definitely a relief and I’m very excited about it.”
He also stressed that the security of the multi-year deal is no reason to rest on his laurels in Super2 this year.
“I can’t just kick back now and think ‘I’ve got a drive’ (and it does not matter), it’s about pushing on the season and try to win the Super2 title,” added Brown.
“I’m a race car driver; all we want to do is win, so that’s what I want to do.
“The way Erebus started helping Image Racing a lot towards the back half of last season, you saw their jump forward in progress with Jordan Boys winning a few races and also (then Image driver) Adam Marjoram stepping forward as well.
“Obviously they’ve done a great job with the cars and that’s where Betty (Klimenko, Erebus owner) signed me for; she wanted to position me with the Erebus junior team.
“It’ll be a big year for us and one that really gives me the shot at going for the title.”
On sharing the #9 ZB Commodore with Reynolds in this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, which Reynolds won in 2017, Brown quipped, “Well I know one thing, we’ll have a good time being with Davey.
“But yeah, that’s a big thing, the 1000. Dave’s obviously very solid and as we’ve seen in the 1000 for the last so many years, they’ve been in the top three or five.
“I think it’s something that we’ll be pushing for and it puts maybe a little bit more pressure on me but Anton did a great job last year, he was always qualifying me up there.
“I just look at it as going and doing the best job I can for the team and for who I’m driving for and, like I say, I’m very excited to drive with Dave.
“As a guy in junior categories, I probably looked up to him as a bit of a larrikin and a guy of the sport that was sort of cool and fun to be around, so now to drive with him is a big thing.”
In a nod to his Erebus ties, Brown will race Car #999 at Image in Super2 this year, where he will be joined in the team by Boys, whose drive was confirmed in the past week.
The Supercars Championship and Super2 commence at the Superloop Adelaide 500 on February 20-23, after the former’s official pre-season test nearby at The Bend on February 18.