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Bend test vital to Erebus Bathurst preparations

BARRY Ryan feels the use of a rookie test day at Tailem Bend last week has taken Erebus Motorsport’s Repco Bathurst 1000 preparations to the next level.

First and second-year Repco Supercars Championship full-timers are granted an additional three test days which can be run away from their team’s designated test track, which in Erebus’ case is Winton Motor Raceway.

The South Dandenong squad had originally planned to run both Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki at The Bend Motorsport Park last Wednesday, but had to settle for one given the post-Pukekohe repair job necessitated on Brown’s #9 Holden.

“Unfortunately, Will missed out on a rookie day at Tailem Bend which is actually a good track to test at when you’re going to Bathurst because it’s a bit like Phillip Island: you’ve got some fast, flowing corners,” Ryan told the Castrol Motorsport News podcast.

“You get a good idea of what your car might be doing on a track where you need more of a Bathurst-style set-up.

“It’s a shame but we had a really good, successful day anyway.

“Half the team stayed back here just prepping Car #9 because it returned home halfway through that day when we were over at Tailem Bend.”

That return came after the chassis EMH02 was stripped and sent to Mount Gambier, where Erebus fabricator Jimmy White is based.

It has since been rebuilt, with Ryan claiming “it’s like a brand-new car”.

Brown will test tomorrow at Winton, as will the team’s wildcard entry of Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway.

Richie Stanaway. Pic: Lucas Wroe/One Nine Media

Intrigue persists around how the all-Kiwi duo will fare, but Ryan likes what he’s seen thus far.

“Richie has been a real standout in testing,” he said.

“He is so consistent, great attitude, and fast. I can’t wait to see him tackle The Mountain and get to qualify the car.

“Murph has been so supportive of Richie too, he’s not the old competitive Greg Murphy we remember where his teammate was as big an enemy as anybody else.

“He’s actually wanting to see Richie do well and he is actually pushing him and really being part of the team. It has been really good.”

Murphy and Stanaway will have Wayne Mackie as their race engineer.

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