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Friday, May 24, 2024


THE news that Erebus Motorsport has converted one of its Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Supercar chassis into a ZB Commodore to be used as a ride car has got plenty of fans up and about in the last 24 hours!

Many have posted on social media that they would rather the team left this Mercedes in its original state; however, V8 Sleuth can confirm the team does retain a handful of other chassis it raced as AMGs a few years back and they haven’t been modified.

We’ll update more on those cars later in the week, but for the moment, just what is the car the team has converted into a ZB ride car chassis?

That particular chassis – SBR24-EM02-2012 – was one of the three original Erebus Mercedes-Benz E63 AMGs that rolled out for the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship Series.

It was Lee Holdsworth’s IRWIN Tools cars in 2013 and nicknamed ‘Freyja’ by team boss Betty Klimenko after the goddess of love. Holdsworth debuted it at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide that year and drove it all season as the #4 entry.

Its high point of the year came at the Sandown 500 where Holdsworth and Craig Baird took it to fourth place with a unique ‘Thank the Tradies’ livery.

We don’t have any current publications that feature the racing histories of Erebus race cars, but our V8 Sleuth Bookshop is here and has a pile of specials for you to snap up – maybe one day we should do a book covering the histories of the gorgeous-sounding Erebus Mercedes? 

The team parted ways with IRWIN at the end of the year and the car remained as Holdsworth’s #4 entry, though in a base black and blue livery with various different sponsors filling its flanks.

Overcoming a rough lead-up to Winton week – where he confronted a home invader in his Queensland house on the Wednesday evening (thankfully there were no injuries) – Holdsworth took this chassis to the very first V8 Supercar win for Erebus in the second Saturday race on April 5.

“It has been a highly emotional 12 months,” said Holdsworth at the time.

Lee Holdsworth took victory at Winton in 2014, giving Erebus Motorsport both its first V8 Supercar race win and podium all in the same race! Photo: an1images.com/Dirk Klynsmith

“It’s been so tough. We’ve had up but mostly downs. We came into this year with a much better car and it’s actually caught me surprise that we have made that massive step over the break.

“I just didn’t guess we would be winning a race at this time of the year.”

Holdsworth admitted he struggled to stay focused over the weekend after leaving his family the day after he chased an intruder out of their family home.

“That took a fair bit of my mind off what was going on this weekend. I have been so concerned about the safety of my family so to come out here and put that aside I am proud of myself,” he said.

“I am also very proud of what Erebus has achieved today. A race win and a very fast car. I am stoked.”

Lee Holdsworth and Craig Baird had a rough end to their 2014 Sandown 500. Photo: an1images.com/Dirk Klynsmith

Holdsworth raced the chassis through the rest of the single driver rounds and again paired up with Baird for the Sandown 500, though the car was badly damaged after right rear tyre failure sent Holdsworth into the tyre wall at the end of the back straight.

Disaster was waiting for the #4 Mercedes later in the day at Bathurst in 2014. Here it leads the sister car of Will and Alex Davison through the Dipper. Photo: an1images.com/Dirk Klynsmith

Repaired and readied in time for the Bathurst 1000, the car again found itself damaged, this time after contact with Russell Ingall at Griffins Bend sent Holdsworth over onto his side and then roof.

The chassis has never raced since, the crash forcing Holdsworth and Baird into another car for the Gold Coast 600.

Eventually repaired, the SBR24-EM02 chassis sat as a spare at Erebus’ Gold Coast base and was then taken to its new home in Melbourne, where it has sat ever since prior to its modification into a ZB Commodore to be turned into a ride car.

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