Erebus CEO Barry Ryan says his new-look driving and engineering line-ups have brought a fresh sense of harmony to the squad.
The race-winning team will head into the 2021 Supercars season with a number of key changes, after both drivers, both race engineers, the crew chief and the naming-rights sponsor all left at the of last year.
That came off the back of a difficult 2020 campaign, which included the partially-public demise of the relationship between Ryan and lead driver David Reynolds.
The result of the exodus is an all-rookie driver line-up consisting of exciting young talents Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki, who will be engineered by promoted data engineer Tom Moore and newly-signed George Commins respectively.
Those new pairings had their first proper hit-out at Winton today, thanks to both drivers eligible for additional rookie running.
According to Ryan the test was the team’s best in years, the changes prompting a sense of harmony that had slipped away over recent seasons.
“It was a really positive day,” he said.
“It’s probably one of the most positive days I’ve had in years at Winton. The drivers just did their job, there was no complaining, they just got in and did the plan that the team had put together.
“It was the best test we’ve had in two or three years. It was really well planned. No one stood out more than anyone else. The crew chief did a really good job, the mechanics, engineers, drivers, everybody just did their jobs. There was no complaints during the day, it was just hard work, and hard work always pays off.
“Tom and Will working together, and George and Brodie, it was really good. You can see that they already clicked. The biggest thing was George and Tom working together on a single plan, not two individual plans. One car went through a test plan, the other car went through a test plan, and they both knew about it. That makes a big difference, it makes you work as a team.
“Working together, the two engineers working for the same cause… that’s something I feel we’ve been missing. After today it’s proved we’ve got that harmony and the two engineers want to work together, they’re not just out ether to beat each other.
“And the drivers are the same. They obviously want to beat each other as drivers, but they’re working together.”
Ryan said that he expects Erebus to get a head start from today’s rookie running, particularly as both Brown and Kostecki have significant experience in both Super2 and the main game endurance races.
However, while buoyed by the stopwatch during qualifying simulations, he says it won’t be until open pre-season testing at Winton next month that he’ll have a proper sense of where the team stacks up.
“It’s a big benefit having rookie tests like this,” he said.
“Our drivers are classed as rookies but they’re both experienced drivers. They know what they’re doing, they’re just classed as rookies. So we can take advantage of that and make our cars faster.
“I think we should be confident after the test day. It’s a very hot day so it’s hard to judge what the qualifying pace would have been. They both had a qualifying run at the end of the day and it was positive, very positive. But really hot track temps, so it’s hard to tell how fast they actually were until there’s other cars on track.”
He added that the test has reaffirmed his goal of retaining fifth in the team’s championship this season, despite the off-season changes and the loss of two race winners in Reynolds and Anton De Pasquale.
“As a minimum it would be nice to stay in the same teams’ championship position,” he said. “People say that’s a big ask, but if the drivers can be in the Top 10 as regularly as they can, and finish every race, we’ll be there.”
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