Erebus double trouble

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 10/04/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

Erebus Motorsport V8 has confirmed the engine upgrades that showed so much promise for Will Davison in Tasmania will make it into his rookie team-mate Ash Walsh's Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG in time for Perth Supersprint on May 1-3.

And the team is confident Davison's Symmons Plains pace wasn't a one-off. If anything team chief engineer Wes McDougall believes the latest version of the M159 engine could be even stronger at Barbagallo Raceway because of its improved drivability and straight-line speed.

"Circuits that have longer corners where you apply the throttle gradually over a period of time with a long straight after them - like the bowl in Perth - shows off the drivability aspect. That should be an improvement," McDougall told

McDougall also stressed the engine's improved behaviour aided chassis tuning, meaning even more speed could be extracted.

"Drivability and how that affects the chassis is all circular; you get that (engine) right then you go back to the chassis and try to improve that," he said.

Davison spent practice and qualifying at the second round of the championship anchored in the top 10 in the Solar Australia Benz.

But he walked away from the weekend with very little to show for his pace after being punted out of third in Race 4 by James Courtney on the opening lap and then having his steering rack damaged when Shane van Gisbergen veered into him while dodging a spinning David Reynolds in the second turn of Sunday's 200km Race 6.

"Both cars will be the same for Perth and moving forward," McDougall said. "What we had there (Tasmania) was another iteration of what we are working at with the engine upgrades all the time.

"It was a good step forward."

And he confirmed there were more upgrades coming.

"A lot of it requires planning and timing," McDougall said. "It is not something that happens just overnight. There will certainly be things that roll out through the year."

Davison confirmed that he had come away from Tasmania convinced the team had made a significant step forward in the way the engine behaved and performed.

"I know the engine is a little bit nicer," he told "The torque delivery is smoother, the throttle response is smoother and our general straight-line speed is an improvement.

"I still know we have a deficit, but sitting in the pack it's now noticeable we are not getting blown away down the straights.

That's not to say we are driving up to the back of people either, but certainly in the pack in Tassie I remember thinking 'I haven't been able to stay on the back of a car this close off a corner in a long time'."

Erebus has been working on its own in-house developments of the 5.0-litre DOHC 32-valve engine for more than 12 months, after initial work was performed in co-operation with HWA in Germany.

The development team led by Craig Kirkwood introduced some improvements in 2014, but Erebus entered the new season with carry-over engines. As private test days are limited, the team elected to introduce the upgrades on Davison's car at Symmons Plains.

With the long gap to Barbagallo there is time to manufacture the components required to upgrade Walsh to the same engine specification and conduct his rookie test so he can familiarise himself with it.

McDougall, who also engineers Walsh's E63, said the Dunlop development series runner-up had "done a really good job" in his first few races in the main game, posting a best finish of eighth in Race 2 at the Clipsal 500. But an intermittent electrical issue spoiled his races in Tasmania.

"We think they have been solved and his (Walsh's) focus and ours is certainly set on Perth where he has done every well before winning in DVS."

And McDougall says Erebus's form at Barbagallo in 2014 is encouraging because it qualified well and raced in the top 10 in both Saturday races.

"We have definitely improved from last year with all aspects of car, engine, drivers and chassis handling. But so has everyone else and that's the game we are in, especially when you are playing catch-up with the pace-setters. You have to develop and work harder than they are too catch and pass them. The benchmark is constantly being reset."

Continuing on its front-running Symmons Plains form was also important for the team as it strived to improve its consistency he said.

"We are super-excited that we proved we can do that and we need to do that now at all the tracks we go to."

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