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HomeNewsRyan declares ‘business as usual’ at Erebus test

Ryan declares ‘business as usual’ at Erebus test

EREBUS Motorsport has vowed to head into the Repco Supercars Championship galvanised after an off-season filled with turmoil.

Gone are the drivers and major sponsors associated with its 2023 title double, although there has not yet been any official split with champion Brodie Kostecki.

Remaining is almost the entirety of its crew, which built two brand-new Gen3 Camaros in the off-season.

Both cars are dressed in a relatively plain livery for today’s pre-season test at Winton, as they were during yesterday’s shakedown.

CEO Barry Ryan is at Winton for the test, as is managing director Shannen Kiely, new team principal Brad Tremain, engineer George Commins and driver quartet Jack Le Brocq, Todd Hazelwood, David Russell and Jayden Ojeda.

Wayne Mackie is engineering the #9 Chevrolet today with Tom Moore absent following the birth of his first child yesterday.

Super2 drivers Jobe Stewart and Jarrod Hughes have stayed back after testing their ZB Commodores earlier in the week and are helping on the tools.

All told, the vibe in the Erebus camp is business as usual.

It’s a theme Ryan mentioned specifically, speaking with V8 Sleuth in his first interview since the Kostecki news broke – although offering no comment on that particular situation as it plays out in the background. Kostecki too has kept a low profile in recent weeks.

“We have got the same pit crew – we had one guy leave just because he wanted to spend more time with his young family – and we had another guy return who’d left at the start of last year,” Ryan said.

“The rest of the team is stable and has been for a few years now.

“Jack and Todd have been great so far. At shakedown yesterday the cars ran faultlessly and they were both super-fast, which is exciting.”

Asked how the team is holding up, Ryan responded: “We’re just supporting each other because we know the truth and we know some of the stuff in the background is just so blown out of proportion.

“So we’re just bonding together like we did particularly last year.”

What remains unknown is just how far Erebus can go towards backing up its 2023 success with Le Brocq coming off a career-best season and Hazelwood hungry to make the most of a lifeline.

Barry Ryan. Pic: Ross Gibb

“The team hasn’t changed and the car hasn’t changed, apart from the aero changes,” said Ryan.

“There’s no reason why our cars won’t be fast and there’s no reason why these two drivers aren’t capable of doing it.

“All the drivers are high-level. These guys are high-level drivers, so they might take a little bit to adjust but I’m sure they’re going to be aiming for pole positions and we’re going to be, so nothing changes.

“Will is going to go to the other team and he is still a good driver. There’s going to be some healthy competition.

“I really hope these two can take off where Brodie and Will left off last year.”

Ryan noted the early indications are that the off-season aero changes won’t drastically affect the base set-up that worked so consistently well for Erebus last year.

“The engineers have had a good look and they can see what should be the difference, but it’s not massive changes,” he said.

“We think the mechanical feel of the car is still going to be the same so the toolbox for adjustments is going to be pretty similar.

“But so far, the base Winton set-up seems to still work.”

Also testing at Winton today are Tickford Racing, Walkinshaw Andretti United, Brad Jones Racing and Team 18.

Grove Racing is completing a new-car shakedown for Richie Stanaway and the Blanchard Racing Team a rookie test for Aaron Love; both those teams will test tomorrow.

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