The Stone Brothers Racing name will not grave the 2013 V8 Supercars grid, after Erebus Motorsport confirmed it has completed a full takeover of the team ahead of it debuting Mercedes-Benz AMG’s entry to the championship.
Erebus had performed a partial takeover as part of it fronting AMG’s entry as the championship’s fourth manufacturer under the 2013 ‘Car of the Future’ regulations, but a full buyout has now been finalised.
SBR co-founder Ross Stone will remain with the team for the immediate future to assist in the transition, while his brother Jimmy Stone has already left the operation.
Erebus will field three AMG E-Class entries, with Lee Holdsworth and Tim Slade confirmed in the driver line-up. The identity of the team’s third driver remains unknown, with the outfit yet to announce a replacement for Shane van Gisbergen, who announced his shock retirement from the championship before the end of the 2012 season.
The team will now be headed by Sydney-based property mogul Betty Klimenko, who will become the series’ first female team principal.
Klimenko made the announcement today via Facebook, and used the announcement to thank the Stone brothers for their support and the legacy they will have left the championship.
“When fans walk along the pits in Adelaide in 2013, and they don’t see the SBR sign, I think there will be some sad faces, I know mine will be, but to see Erebus Motorsport, for me will be amazing,” she said.
“A change of name, does not change the team, the history of it or the ability of it. I am not here to reinvent the wheel, I am here to carry on what two wonderful Kiwi’s started, SBR will be represented, as the founders of the team, in everything Erebus Motorsport V8 does.
“I would like to thank Ross and Jimmy Stone for bringing SBR to our shores and for the many years of truly exciting racing they have given us.”
The team is in the process of building its COTF chassis ahead of its official – and compulsory – appearance at the sole pre-season test session at Sydney Motorsport Park on February 16. The team is expected to conduct a shakedown test at Queensland Raceway beforehand.