Mercedes No Longer Racing In Australia’s V8 Supercars
After three complete seasons on the V8 Supercars grid, Mercedes-Benz will not appear in Australia’s No. 1 touring car championship in 2016. The news comes via Erebus Motorsport, the only team that used modified E63 AMG sedans over the last three years. Erebus announced it has switched to Holden Commodores for the upcoming season. Stuttgart has yet to make an announcement, but given that the E63 AMG race cars were developed in collaboration with Erebus, it’s safe to assume that we won’t be seeing the tri-star badge in V8 Supercars anytime soon.
"Holden has proved its competitiveness in the sport again and again," said Betty Klimenko, owner of Erebus Motorsport. "Erebus has experienced success, but with the switch to Holden combined with our experienced team personnel in Barry Ryan and Campbell Little, and David Reynolds behind the wheel, we have every chance to win more often."
The switch is far from surprising, as Holden is Australia’s most successful manufacturer in motorsport, with a record 19 championships, 496 race wins, and 30 Bathurst 1000 triumphs.
Erebus joined the V8 Supercars series in 2013, when it purchased Stone Brothers Racing and switched from Ford to Mercedes-Benz. After a disappointing first year with many retirements and only three top 10 finishes, Erebus took its first win in 2014, ending the season in seventh in the teams’ standings. The Melbourne-based squad scored another win in 2015, but finished only 11th in the final ranking.
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Why it matters
Given Erebus’ results since it joined V8 Supercars, Mercedes’ disappearance from the series was inevitable. Mercedes-AMG lacked the experience of long-time competitors Holden and Ford and this became rather obvious after more than two years of development. Although it’s always sad to see a manufacturer kill a racing program, it shouldn’t affect the Germans too much, as Mercedes-AMG is doing quite well in the more important Formula One and DTM championships. As for Erebus Motorsport, the switch to Holden Commodores should bring better result and, why not, a better shot at the championship.