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Klimenko’s Kostecki confession

EREBUS Motorsport founder Betty Klimenko has a confession.

In the hours after Brodie Kostecki clinched his maiden Supercars drivers’ championship, Klimenko admitted she had needed plenty of convincing to give the Perth product his first full-time opportunity in 2021.

Erebus was rebuilding at the time.

They had already committed to running one rookie in Will Brown; then when David Reynolds joined Anton De Pasquale in moving to a rival team, a second vacancy opened up.

Kostecki had impressed in co-driving with De Pasquale in the 2020 Bathurst 1000, but Klimenko had her reservations given the circumstances.

“I didn’t take a chance on him. Barry (Ryan, CEO) took a chance on him,” Klimenko reflected to V8 Sleuth.

Brodie Kostecki and Erebus boss Betty Klimenko. Pic: Supplied

“I didn’t want him. Well, it’s not that I didn’t want him, it was because we already had a rookie and I didn’t want to go for two rookies.

“But then Barry sat me down and he explained it all, and I spoke to Paul Morris and I watched Brodie, and something just said ‘yep, that’s the way to go, that’s your next driver’.

“I’m glad I listened to my gut for once. I’m glad I listened to the little voice inside that said, ‘you know what, take the two years of pain and you’ll get there’ and that’s exactly it.”

Kostecki went winless in his first two seasons, but finish top 10 in the championship in both years.

Ryan yesterday recalled precisely why he wanted Kostecki.

“You could see his ability on track, but also his history with racing in America as a 13-year-old kid, driving a 600-horsepower car; you can’t not be good,” he told V8 Sleuth.

Kostecki (right) with engineer George Commins. Pic: Supplied/Race Project

“He was always going to be a hard-nosed racer, which he is, and he has got massive ability.

“The biggest thing about Brodie that a lot of these other drivers miss is, all he does is focus on driving.

“That’s all he does, every single day of his life, that’s all he cares about, not going on push bike rides and sipping lattés.

“All he does is race. He rings George (Commins, engineer) every day with ideas.

“That’s what you have got to do and he has proved it so I’m proud of him.”

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