After denying that it was thinking of joining Australia’s premier racing category, Mercedes-Benz has done a u-turn and with the announcement that there will be three E-Class cars in the 2013 series. But they won’t be factory supported cars.
The three car team is backed by businesswoman Betty Klimenko who already fields Mercedes-Benz in the Australian GT category under Erebus Racing. The cars will be run by Stone Brothers Racing who will end its relationship with Ford. Currently Stone Brothers Racing fields Shane Van Gisbergen, Tim Slade and Lee Holdsworth in the series and is famous for winning the championship twice with now NASCAR winner Marcos Ambrose. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class V8 Supercar is already in development but Stone Brothers Racing will see out its contract with Ford which runs until the end of the year. This will include testing of a Ford COTF (Car of the Future) before the year as out.
“There has been much speculation over what Erebus Motorsport, AMG and Mercedes-Benz were doing in relation to the Car of the Future – and we haven’t been in a position to say anything about this until right now,” said Erebus Motorsport CEO, Ryan Maddison to V8Supercars.com.au.
“Our entry into V8 Supercars is an entirely Erebus Motorsport-funded initiative as a private race team that is accessing the Customer Sports program of AMG.
“There is a lot of work required between now and the first event next year; by no means will it be an easy road with V8 Supercars being such a highly competitive environment.
“We do not underestimate the task ahead as a new team in V8 Supercars, but we have the expertise and experience of SBR which is considered to be one of the best teams in V8 Supercars. They are a professional outfit and know how to win races and championships; we see a perfect fit for Erebus Motorsport.
The cars will run AMG 5-litre V8 engines under the E-Class shell. At today’s media launch the engine was also revealed to the public. The three current drivers are favourites for the seats at Erebus-Stone Brothers Racing in 2013.
Via: V8 Supercars