Mercedes-Benz Shakes Up the Supercars
In a stunning turn of events for V8 Supercars, Mercedes-Benz will join the starting grid for the 2013 championship. After having twice declared they were not interested in competing in the championship, today it was announced that three AMG E-Class lookalikes would participate on behalf of Erebus Motorsport and Stone Brothers Racing. The cars will be powered by a race-tuned 5.0L V8 so as to meet upcoming Car of the Future regulations. The engine will be a smaller version of the 6.2L V8 currently used in various AMG production vehicles.
Although new to the V8 Supercars field, Erebus are well acquainted with Australian motorsport. Owned and financed by Betty Klimenko, the daughter of Westfield co-founder John Saunders, the company has spent the last couple of years racing Mercedes-AMG SLS AMG GT3 sports models in the Australian GT Championship, and has also tried its hand in the Aussie Racing Cars category. Erebus’ strong investment in AMG products is believed to have gone a long way in achieving their latest partnership.
David McCarthy from Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific confirmed that although the deal will not be a works program for Mercedes; the effort still had the German manufacturers blessing and technical support. As such, Erebus Motorsport will fund the entire project. Questions of funding aside, this move is sure to change the landscape of next season's Supercar Championship. Nissan has already announced they will be competing next season with Kelly Racing. With the arrival of these two new teams for the start of the 2013 season, it will mark the first time under the V8 Supercars moniker that manufacturers other than Ford and Holden have competed. Coincidentally, the last car other than a Ford or Holden to win the Australian Touring Car Championship was a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R, in 1992.
: Jackson Hides
: Ford Australia Forums