Erebus Motorsport will enter 2017 with a reshuffled engineering line-up after confirming Alistair McVean and Mirko De Rosa will be in charge of David Reynolds and Dale Wood’s Holden Commodores.
The move comes as the Melbourne-squad focuses its engineering direction on an increased in-house approach after working with Walkinshaw Racing in its first season as a Holden team.
Barry Ryan, Erebus General Manager of Motorsport, said the continuation of former Walkinshaw engineer McVean with Reynolds was a major boost heading into 2017.
“We finished last year hoping there was another couple of rounds, we were just getting up some momentum,” Ryan told Supercars.com. “We really want to leap into the first test and first round as a continuation of last year. It should be a change with the new tyre, but confidence is high with what we did here last year. Alistair, the way we did the car compared to what he was used to at Walkinshaw, he’s really embraced that and built on it. We’re confident.”
Ryan said De Rosa’s internal promotion to Wood’s entry was part of the team’s longer term plans after Walkinshaw Racing’s Matt Nilsson spent time on car #4 in 2016.
“Matt did it part-time. It was always the intention of bringing it in-house,” he explained. “Matt was great last year because we built the relationship with Walkinshaw as well. He understands, and so do Walkinshaw, that we want to go on our own.
“When we originally got Mirko on-board at the start of last year he was an engineer but he started as a mechanic with us. The intention was to get him off the tools as quick as we could and utilise his skills. He jumped onto data within a few months and I advised him a lot and Campbell (Little, former technical consultant) advised him a lot and when Alistair came he advised him.”
Despite his relative inexperience in the role, Ryan believes the timing of the change to Dunlop’s tyres is ideal for De Rosa.
“It’s the perfect opportunity for Mirko to step in because of the change,” he said.
“He’s ready to go. The biggest thing is learning a bit more radio communication, which he hasn’t done for a couple of years.”
Erebus is set to launch its 2017 campaign on February 16, with a new chassis for Reynolds to come on-board at the same time. The team is expected to have a shakedown in the days surrounding the team launch.
“Now we’re pretty well prepped and going good. The new chassis, we’ve got two weeks to do that. We’re not scared about it, we’re pressing on and getting it done,” Ryan concluded.