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‘Over it’: Klimenko calls out Supercars rule change

EREBUS Motorsport owner Betty Klimenko has been left frustrated and confused by Supercars’ decision to adopt a ‘live pitlane’ for 2024.

The pitlane garage order has traditionally been set for each season based off the previous year’s teams’ championship results, with the champion awarded the coveted first garages.

Erebus is in the box seat to secure the 2023 teams’ title at this weekend’s Adelaide 500, which would break Triple Eight and DJR Team Penske’s 13-year stranglehold on the prize.

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However, this year’s champion will only be guaranteed the first garages for Round 1 next year, with the order set to change for each event based on the rolling points score thereafter.

Although mooted for some time and approved by the category’s Commission, the change was only announced by Supercars in the lead-up to Adelaide, leaving Klimenko furious.

Erebus Motorsport is in line to start 2024 at the top of pitlane… but there’s no guarantee where it will be positioned from Round 2 onwards. Pic: Supplied/Mark Horsburgh

“The fact that a privateer team has finally got to a position where they have a chance to win a championship is amazing,” Klimenko told V8 Sleuth.

“I don’t think that it is a position that is absolutely loved by Supercars.

“I find it very strange that after 15 years, the first privateer team that looks like it has a chance of winning a championship, they go and change the rules and make it a live pitlane.

“If they had done it properly, they would have gone ‘we’re going to go live pitting in 2025’. That way we’d have a year to get used to it.

“You don’t do it when someone has worked their arse off all year, poured millions into a team by sponsorship or whatever, and then get told at the end of the year that the prize that you’ve been grabbing for has now been taken away.

“It doesn’t compute with me that they would do it so fast. A non-GM backed car, a non-Ford factory backed car has a chance of winning and all of a sudden, they want to change the rules so quickly.

“I’m disappointed. This is not what I signed up for.”

Betty Klimenko. Pic: Ross Gibb

Although a storybook season to date for Erebus on track, it’s been a tough one for Klimenko, whose brother Mark passed away mid-year.

Klimenko only attends occasional races and is critical of the category’s continued rule changes.

“Everything is a band-aid at the moment,” she continued, having entered Supercars in 2013 from GT racing following a buyout of Stone Brothers Racing.

“Everyone knows I wasn’t a huge fan of Gen3 because for me it was going backwards in my career.

“It’s getting a lot like GTs in the look and everything else. I just hope they don’t take it any further because it’s not on my agenda to do something like that.

“I would rather go back to ‘the 2s’ and have a good time. This is meant to be my retirement, I do other work to gain my actual employment.

“I’m over it. Everything changes so quickly. They’re like a kid changing their mind every five minutes.

“That’s how it feels to me, they’re trying everything to see what works.”

Although at the circuit this weekend, Klimenko said she won’t attend Monday night’s Gala Awards ceremony even if Erebus is set to pick up the biggest trophies.

“I’ve got no need to go,” she said. “I don’t do Galas any more. In my lifetime I’ve done thousands of Galas and charity balls.

“The trophy is a piece of metal just shaped into a trophy. You could go and buy a trophy in a trophy shop.

“If we are to win it and Brodie (Kostecki) goes over that line and I know we’ve won, I’ll celebrate with these guys (the team) and I’ll be proud of myself.”

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