Team(s): Erebus Penrite Racing / Thermosphere Racing
Team Principal: Betty Klimenko
Chassis: Holden Commodore ZB
Debut: 1998 (as Stone Brothers Racing)
Drivers’ Championships: 2003, 2004, 2005 (as Stone Brothers Racing)
Drivers: David Reynolds (Erebus Penrite Racing) and Anton De Pasquale (Thermosphere Racing)
A brief history
2013 will be remembered for the arrival of new manufacturers into the championship and a brand new set of technical regulations. At the end of 2012, Erebus Motorsport joined forces with the long serving and highly regarded Championship winning team Stone Brothers Racing. Taking over the operations, Erebus Motorsport switched from Ford Falcons to AMG-developed Mercedes-Benz E-Class entries.
Under the deal, Erebus Motorsport purchased one of the two Racing Entitlements Contracts and leased the other from the Stone Brothers before taking over ownership in 2015. With seven top 10 finishes, the team finished the season overall in tenth in the 2013 Team Championship Standings.
After running two Mercedes-Benz E63s for itself and one for satellite team James Rosenberg Racing, Erebus Motorsport scaled back to two cars in 2014 after the Rosenberg entry switched to Walkinshaw Racing. And in the season’s most significant driver move, the privateer team secured the services of former factory Ford driver Will Davison.
Initially designed and developed by AMG’s HWA racing division in Germany, Erebus Motorsport took its AMG engine program completely in-house in 2014 following a reshaping of its Customer Sports agreement with the Mercedes-Benz performance tuning division.
In its second year, the team scored its maiden win at Winton in the hands of Lee Holdsworth, while Davison secured pole at the final round. However, despite these competitive moments, both drivers had an average year with Davison finishing in 14th and Holdsworth in 20th after a series of big crashes. Holdsworth then departed for Walkinshaw Racing at the end of 2014, with Ash Walsh stepping up to the main game after competing in the Dunlop Series for four years.
2015 was a rollercoaster season for Erebus Motorsport. There was a win for Davison at Barbagallo, but more often than not both cars ended up at the bottom of the timesheets. In a bid to step up development of the team’s E63 AMGs which were struggling for consistent pace, the team benched Walsh in favour of Dean Canto at Phillip Island and then Alex Davison at Homebush.
Ahead of 2016, the team underwent a extensive off-season transformation, laying off staff and closing its Queensland workshop, before the shock decision to park the AMG-based program, opting instead to field two Walkinshaw Racing-built VF Commodores for its new drivers David Reynolds and Aaren Russell.
Early on it was clear to see while the cars and drivers had changed at the squad, their results certainly hadn’t. Still struggling to crack the top 15, they were under immense pressure, not helped when Russell’s sponsor withdrew it support during the racing weekend in Townsville. This left Russell out of a drive and the team searching for a new driver. Craig Baird was drafted in for Ipswich with Shae Davies taking over the drive for the rest of the year. The highlight of the year came at the final race of the season where Reynolds held off a hard-charging Whincup to score third place, the team’s only podium of the season. Off the track, October saw Alistair McVean joined Erebus as head of engineering bringing a wealth of experience after more than a decade with Walkinshaw Racing having engineered HRT’s 2005, 2009 and 2011 Bathurst 1000 wins.
In 2017 Reynolds took charge of the first Erebus-built Commodore and was joined by former Nissan driver Dale Wood in Reynolds’ 2016 car. Starting the season with Walkinshaw Racing upgraded engines, the team initially struggled to produce a strong qualifying and race craft on the same day. But by mid-year, McVean seemed to have finally unlocked the car’s potential when Reynolds’ Enduro Cup co-driver Luke Youlden stuck the car on pole in the first of the event’s two qualifying races. But it was to be the Bathurst 1000 that proved to be the game-changer with Reynolds taking the win alongside Youlden, before ending the year on another high with a podium behind the Red Bulls in the season finale at Newcastle.
With three podiums, two front-row starts and two fastest race laps for Reynolds and Erebus Motorsport climbing from 11th to fifth in the teams’ championship, the team have a lot to look forward to in 2018 with a brand-new chassis and an upgrade to the new-for-2017 chassis Reynolds raced last year. Dunlop Super2 Series graduate Anton De Pasquale also replaces Wood as Reynolds’ teammate this year.