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From bad to good: Erebus’ early validation

AFTER an off-season from hell, all Erebus Motorsport wanted to do was hit the track and get on with the show.

But the nightmares didn’t stop there, as Jack Le Brocq’s #9 TFH Camaro ground to a halt and caused a red flag within seconds of the first all-in Supercars session of 2024 getting underway yesterday. Requiring an engine change, JLB missed Practice 1 in its entirety.

By the end of the day, though, the narrative had swung. The 2023 Gen3 order was restored with Erebus back to duking it out with Triple Eight: Todd Hazelwood finishing Practice 2 second, wedged between the two Red Bull Ampol drivers.

Erebus CEO Barry Ryan had maintained the faith that his championship-winning crew, which is largely unchanged year-on-year, could still get the job done – and this was validation. Even after an early hiccup.

“It was unfortunate we had an engine drama, which was self-induced unfortunately, but we’ll cop that on the chin and get on with it,” Ryan told V8 Sleuth.

Jack Le Brocq missed all of Practice 1. Pic: Nathan Wong

“That’s ultimately what put Jack a little bit off the pace in that last green run because he hadn’t had a dry track all day. He’ll be right, the cars are fast, Todd proved that.

“And Todd did it on his own, first car (in the queue), so there’s no rubber going down, no tow.

“Will (Brown, Practice 2 pacesetter) had a perfect tow – that’s probably worth at least half a second here – so we’re pretty confident that the car is fast enough.

“Todd is really happy with the car, he’s like ‘it’s nice to drive and inspires confidence’, so a positive day. To have Todd do what he did today, it’s really impressive.

“We back ourselves the whole way through, we know the cars are fast and we know the engineering group is strong.

“We didn’t have any doubt, we just needed to I guess validate it – and Todd has validated our faith in him and we know Jack can do the same thing.”

MORE: Erebus debut ‘information overload’ for Hazelwood

The biggest test yet will come in qualifying this morning from 10:20am AEDT, the top 10 from which will proceed to a Shootout.

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