Erebus camaraderie reflected in form upswing

The Erebus Motorsport team. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

Erebus Motorsport’s strong results at the opening Sydney Motorsport Park Supercars event are a testament to how the team has bonded, according to CEO Barry Ryan.

Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki collectively qualified in the top 10 six times out of a possible six at the Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight, including only once worse than fifth.

From there, they would take two top five finishes each, including Brown’s first podium as a full-time Repco Supercars Championship driver.

Both would also score the fastest lap bonus points in a race each, with the Erebus ZB Commodores seemingly the quickest cars outside of the Shell V-Power Racing Team.

The Melbourne-based team has achieved speed at various times through 2021, but its latest performance is far and away its best since a tumultuous 2020 season both on the race track and behind the scenes.

Ryan said the showing was a product of the camaraderie which Erebus has rebuilt, and a review of the first half of the campaign during the recent, long break.

“As a team, the year’s been really good, and [last] weekend, it’s all come together,” he told Speedcafe.com.

“Getting those first seven rounds done and then going, ‘Where are we? Where are the drivers at? Where’s the new structure at with the new crew chief and a couple of engineers?’ we just went through a heap of that stuff with them and ‘What can we do better?’

“The biggest thing – I’ve said it so many times – is we’re all just working together; the engineers want to help each other, the drivers want to help each other, and they’re happy for each other when they get results.

“That’s something we need to keep, and I’ll never let it happen again that we don’t have that.

“We lost it last year; we did have it, there’s no doubt we did have it for a couple of years there, but we lost it, probably ’19 and ’20.

“Doesn’t matter what reason, it’s not any individual, it’s just probably me not leading it as good as I could, and I learnt a lot out of it, and you just make changes.

“There have been some positive changes this year, and it’s starting to reflect on the track.”

Erebus did have one obvious blemish from the weekend, being its first live pit stop after three months away from racing, but was otherwise assured.

Ryan believes his drivers also showed that they are ready to win races.

Brodie Kostecki. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

“There were times when Will was looking as strong as Anton [De Pasquale, who won two races and qualified on pole three times],” he added.

“People were just thinking that he was going to blow his tyres off but he actually didn’t, so he’s learnt a lot [last] weekend about that style of driving – it’s a lot different to Super2 – and he’s only going to get better.

“Same as Brodie; he’s still got a lot to improve on, but as far as I’m concerned, they’re ready to win races, and Will proved that. We were close, but not quite close enough.”

With Brown having qualified on the outside of the front row twice in Event 8 of the season, it meant a lockout of current or only just-departed Erebus drivers for two races.

The pole-sitter on each occasion, De Pasquale, got his start in the top tier with Erebus and is highly regarded despite switching to Dick Johnson Racing at the end of 2020.

“Internally we claim Anton as ours, and he’s just gone to another team,” explained Ryan.

“We had a lot to do with where he is and why he got there, so we’re proud of it, so we still see him on the podium and go, ‘Good on you Anton’.

“We’d love to beat him, but we’re proud of whatever Anton does. There was never any problem when he left, and we understood he went to the best team in pit lane essentially.

“He’s going to be in the second-best team soon,” quipped Ryan in reference to Erebus’ ambitions, “but we always see Anton and we’ll be happy for him, because we had a big part in where he got to.”

The Armor All Sydney SuperNight starts tomorrow with Practice 1 from 13:55 local time/AEDT.

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