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Klimenko’s moment nine years in the making

BETTY Klimenko was a popular addition to the Sunday podium at Symmons Plains, more than nine years after her last appearance on a Supercars rostrum.

Klimenko, founder of red-hot Erebus Motorsport, only makes sporadic trips to Supercars events nowadays with CEO Barry Ryan the full-blown team spearhead.

Her first in some time was the weekend’s Tasmania SuperSprint, where Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki combined for five podiums, including two wins for the former.

To celebrate Saturday’s win, Klimenko’s husband Daniel was Erebus’ team representative on the podium.

Just 24 hours later, Betty herself was up there being sprayed with champagne, for the first time since Erebus’ maiden podium when Lee Holdsworth won at the 2014 Winton 400 aboard a Mercedes-AMG E63.

“They had to hold the whole thing up because the podium was so far away that I couldn’t walk that far, they had to pick me up with the car and take me up there,” Klimenko recalled to V8 Sleuth of Winton 2014.

Lee Holdsworth and Betty Klimenko celebrate victory at Winton in 2014. Pic: Supplied

“And then (Holdsworth) sprayed the cork at my chest, I was sopping wet and then I did a little victory dance on the podium. It was fun.

“But 10 years later I’m not as sprite as I used to be.”

By the end of yesterday, Erebus’ podium tally was up to 53 as it continues to utterly dominate the early phases of the Gen3 era.

MORE: Kostecki’s ruthless response to parity qualms

“It was great. I myself was not track-fit but I loved every second of it,” Klimenko said of her Symmons Plains experience.

“They have proved everything I have ever tried to do in my motorsport career.

Betty Klimenko and Will Brown. Pic: Supplied/Mark Horsburgh

“To be here now… the first time: ‘eh, lucky’. Second time: ‘could have been a fluke’. But not to do what those boys are doing this whole season, and my hat off to them.

“I’m not going to as many rounds as I used to go to, but I don’t need to go to as many rounds. Barry and Shannen (Kiely, managing director) and the whole team are brilliant.

“There comes a time when you just take a step back and now is that time for me, but I’m so proud to be here, I really am. It was a great weekend to be here.”

The next Supercars round Klimenko is planning to attend is the Sydney SuperNight in late July.

Kostecki leads the drivers’ championship by 87 points from Brown, while Erebus’ teams’ title advantage stands at 276 points.

V8 Sleuth’s coverage of the 2023 NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint is proudly presented by ACL RACE Series – Proudly manufactured in Australia for over 70 years. Visit ACL Performance online here to check out more on the ACL RACE Series.

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