"A karma thing"

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 04/11/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Erebus team owner Betty Klimenko has opened up on signing David Reynolds for 2016 and her amicable split with Will Davison, who heads to TEKNO Autosports for the 2016 season.

While Davison had been contracted to remain at Erebus, both parties decided to tear up his lucrative agreement and give the 33-year old driver what he believed to be the best shot at taking his maiden V8 Supercars title.

Today it was announced Klimenko had secured Reynolds for next year, with the Championship front-runner an obvious choice for the empty seat.

"I'm not emotional about it at all, it feels very right, the same way it did with Will," Klimenko told v8supercars.com.au about the signing.

"I think it was just a karma thing."

There has been much discussion in pit lane around the financial details of Davison's contract and departure but Klimenko said it was all easy to resolve.

"Will decided to leave Erebus - Erebus did not leave Will," Klimenko said.

"He chose to leave me and I said, 'yeah that's cool, if you want to leave that's fine' because I'd never keep someone here who doesn't want to be here.

"He wants to get to the top and I'll be slower than anyone else because we are new.

"Between Will and me it's all fantastic, we're still good friends ... I understood [his reasons], it was all friendly, and I went, 'we've got to find another driver'.

"It all just fell into place, it was all very weird. No emotion, no arguing, it was all friendly ... There was absolutely no controversy, no sitting down over contracts for hours and hours changing things, it was just really nice."

Klimenko said she had asked Davison if he was happy, and when he revealed his ambitions to win the Championship in the next couple of years, she didn't want to hold him back.

"I said, 'look, if you want to go for your dreams, go for it. Don't think we're going to have a fight or anything, it's up to you'.

"A couple of days later he said, 'I've been thinking about it' ... I said, 'it's up to you - we need you, we want you, but if you want to do it, it's up to you'. And he took that choice."

Klimenko believes Reynolds' ability behind the wheel is on par with Davison's and is pleased to continue on with a front-running driver to lead teammate Ash Walsh, who will be in just his second V8 Supercars season in 2016.

"As far as I'm concerned, Will and David are basically the same in speed and everything else. So for me it's not a lot of change, it's just a change of name.

"They're both roughly around the same ability, just Will has been around longer."

While Reynolds' recent Bathurst comments about female competitors saw him slapped by a fine from V8 Supercars, female team owner Klimenko was not bothered by his antics.

"I'm happy to have him there - someone who will understand my jokes," she said.

"I think they [his comments] were funny. I think he shouldn't have used them in public, he should've kept them to the garage ... I personally think this industry is too emotional. Everyone is so emotional about everything - get over it and go racing."

She added in jest: "He realised he needed to pay a bit of penance so he's decided to work for a woman."

"I'm happy to have Dave. Like I said I've known him for years, known him before the V8 days, so we get on really well.

"We have the same kind of humour - I think mine's a little dirtier than his - but we will get on like a house on fire."

Having burst onto the V8 Supercars scene in 2013, taking over from Stone Brothers Racing and converting to Mercedes-Benz AMG E63s, Klimenko stressed her team was still new and developing its engine.

Reynolds will need to be committed to giving his all to the team next year.

"Any driver who drives with us knows he can't just be driver," she said.

"He's got to be ... the inventor as well because we are developing engines.

"We can't just get into our cars and think they've been developed 20 years like a Holden and you can just sit there and drive - you can't.

"This is something you've got to develop around your driving. So I think he'll enjoy it."

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