DANDENONG, Victoria, Australia – Welcome back to Race Chaser Online’s 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship season previews! We continue today with a look at Erebus Motorsport.
DRIVERS: No. 9 – David Reynolds, Penrite Motor Oil Holden Commodore VF
No. 99 – Dale Wood, Team GB Holden Commodore VF
2016 TEAM POINTS FINISH: 11th
2016 HIGHEST RACE FINISH: A third-place finish in the finale at Homebush
For Erebus Motorsport, 2017 is all about improving upon their Holden Commodore package.
That was the most significant change for this team coming into last season. After three years running Mercedes-Benz’ E63 AMG in the field without factory support, Erebus decided that it wanted more resources if it were going to race as a customer. With the most resources available to any team on the grid, Holden became the clear and obvious manufacturer to jump to.
They also were able to grab David Reynolds from the Rod Nash Racing/ Prodrive Racing Australia car and bring him over to Erebus as well. It was a move that made sense for both parties; Reynolds had long shown lots of potential in the No. 55, but had never quite lived up to it on a consistent basis, and looked like a driver in need of a change of scenery. Meanwhile, RNR wanted to move Chaz Mostert to their car to avoid pit-stacking issues with Mark Winterbottom.
Alongside Reynolds was a rotating cast of young drivers in Aaren Russell, Chris Pither and Shae Davies.
All parties were looking forward to the challenge, but all parties would likely admit that it was a struggle all around in 2016.
Reynolds, who had finished third in the points the season before he moved to Erebus, slipped to 16th in the final driver’s standings this time around. He had no podiums until the very last race of the season, at Homebush; outside of that race, his best finishes were a fifth and sixth in the respective finales at Clipsal and Winton and an eighth in one of the races at Pukekohe.
The same can be said for the other car as well, which finished no higher than 17th in any race all season.
For 2017, Erebus has gone with experience for the second seat, bringing in Dale Wood from Nissan Motorsport. Dale will be competing in his fourth full-time Supercars campaign with backing from his loyal sponsor, Team GB. Reynolds returns as well, as does his main sponsor Penrite Motor Oil.
Erebus has also announced its lineup for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup as well, with Luke Youlden and Chris Pither co-driving for Reynolds and Wood, respectively.
However, this team will be hoping that the stability, above all else, helps them climb back up towards the front of the field. This is a team that in its former incarnation, Stone Brothers Racing, was once home to Shane van Gisbergen and finished sixth in the standings with the Kiwi. Competing at that level is eventually where they want to return to.
Reynolds will say the same, and the blueprint for him is easy: return to form at tracks where he is historically good. Traditionally, that list entails of Adelaide, Symmons Plains, Winton, Darwin, Surfers Paradise, and Bathurst, where he podiumed in 2012. Wood will hope that the consistency and the Holden partnership allows him to grow as a driver too.
For more information on Erebus Motorsport, visit erebusmotorsport.com.
For more information on the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, visit www.supercars.com.
About the Writer
James Pike is a multi-faceted reporter for Race Chaser Online and an analyst on the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
He is the lead correspondent for Race Chaser Online’s coverage of Australian Supercars and also covers regional touring series events in the Carolinas. He is a graduate of the Motorsports Management program at Belmont Abbey College and currently resides in Winston-Salem, N.C.
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