Erebus dismisses ‘underdog’ tag
Tuesday 7th March, 2023 - 6:00am
Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan has dismissed the notion that his Supercars team is an underdog outfit.
Erebus finished sixth in last year’s teams’ championship, a mere 10 points behind Grove Racing, but enjoyed bragging rights over that squad in the drivers’ championship in so much that Brodie Kostecki pipped David Reynolds to seventh in the standings by the same margin.
It boasts eight Repco Supercars Championship race wins to date, the most recent of those being delivered by Will Brown in late-2021, and the highlight undoubtedly being the 2017 Bathurst 1000 triumph.
With the Gen3 era effectively eliminating differences in equipment, Ryan welcomes the level playing field, but rejects the suggestion that his team might be tagged underdogs.
“I don’t think we’ve been labelled underdogs for a while,” he told Speedcafe.com.
“I hope we haven’t. I haven’t considered us an underdog since we won Bathurst. We’re expected to win since then.
“Brodie still wants to obviously get the race win – he hasn’t quite got that yet – and they’ve [Kostecki and Brown] got some boxes to tick but we know they can do it.
“I think the biggest thing now is, there’s no questions for us. We don’t have to say, ‘Is our engine as good as the other Walkinshaw engines?’ and all that sort of stuff that’s easy to question as a driver, more than anyone.
“Now we know, the engines all have to be the same – they’re drawn out of a hat – there’s no question there.
“We’ve got the same tools as everyone else – we haven’t got a different upright or a different rollbar – so it just brings the excuse book down.
“You’ve just got to get on with it and do the best job.”
His drivers are of a similar mindset.
Kostecki told Speedcafe.com, “Anything’s possible with hard work and dedication. I’m kind of sick of being [called] the underdog and I’m sure Will is too.
“I’d like to go out there and do similar to what some of the other teams have done for the last couple of years.”
Brown added, “I think it’s a bit of a reset in the category, isn’t it?
“There are obviously still teams that have done a fantastic job in the last couple of years but you don’t know what’s going to happen this year, and I don’t think there are any underdogs now.
“I think it’s just waiting to see who rolls out and what happens at the first couple of rounds.”
Brown’s #9 and Kostecki’s #99 Chevrolet Camaro will both sport major backing from Coca-Cola in 2023.
The former’s enduro co-driver, Jack Perkins, has already been confirmed in a programme which includes a full season in the first Erebus-entered car in the Dunlop Super2 Series.
It would appear the team will opt for an unchanged line-up for the year’s long-distance races given David Russell, Kostecki’s co-driver for the last two Bathurst 1000s, also in attendance at the official test at Sydney Motorsport Park, where Erebus finished second- and third-fastest.
Practice for the Thrifty Newcastle 500 starts this Friday.
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