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Championship trophy on display at Erebus

EREBUS Motorsport may not be able to sport the coveted #1 at the Thrifty Bathurst 500, but the team is leaving no doubt as to its status as reigning champions.

The perpetual Supercars Championship trophy has appeared in the team’s garage ahead of opening practice, following a tumultuous build-up for the squad.

That has included a much-publicised breakdown in the relationship between the team and its title-winning driver Brodie Kostecki.

Kostecki is absent from Round 1 and is understood to still be seeking a release from his contract with the squad, which has installed Todd Hazelwood in its #99 entry.

Jack Le Brocq and Todd Hazelwood with their Erebus Camaros. Pic: Supplied/Mark Horsburgh

Hazelwood’s new Camaro undertook initial test laps at Winton earlier this month sporting the #1, but that can only be used in competition by the reigning champion driver.

The Camaros of Hazelwood and teammate Jack Le Brocq are running in the colours of the former’s personal backer TFH Hire following a series of high-profile sponsor withdrawals.

Jumping into the reigning title-winning entry, which continues to be engineered by George Commins, marks an incredible opportunity for the 28-year-old South Australian.

“I think you’ve got to embrace that pressure,” Hazelwood said at the reveal of the three-event TFH Hire deal on Thursday.

“Us as drivers, you want to have that expectation. It’s always a good thing, because it means your destiny is a good result if you put all the ingredients together.

“If the driver performs, there’s no reason why we can’t get trophies at the end of the day.

“That’s what we’re here to do as drivers, to embrace that pressure. Pressure builds diamonds.”

Hazelwood has six full-time Supercars seasons under his belt across Matt Stone Racing, Brad Jones Racing and the Blanchard Racing Team.

He initially signed with Erebus late last year as a co-driver having run out of full-time opportunities.  

“For me it’s quite exciting to be in a situation where you’ve got a proven product, you’ve got all the ingredients,” he continued.

“The team is unchanged as far as engineering and mechanics, we’ve got fantastic stability on that side of things.

“For me, it’s jump in the hot seat and it’s up to me to do the best job possible.

“It’s a very different mentality to what I’ve been used to the last few years in the sport, but it’s also a good one. I’m excited.”

Erebus showed off its Peter Brock Trophy to fans after winning the 2017 Bathurst 1000, taking the coveted prize on a national tour.

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