Will Brown says it is “exciting" how he and Brodie Kostecki are helping each other progress just two rounds into their rookie main game season.
The two young drivers impressed at the last-start Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint, with Kostecki clinching a maiden podium in Race 5.
Kostecki raced from seventh on the grid to claim second in the wet race, while Brown moved up an impressive 12 spots to finish seventh.
However, the two drivers’ newfound bonds with each other, as well as their engineers, have been cited as the credit for the early success.
Speaking to Supercars.com, Brown admitted his relationship with Kostecki is more important than ever, now that they’re both full-time championship drivers.
Brown and Kostecki celebrate the latter’s Race 5 podium
"The exciting thing is that we are working so well together,” the 22-year-old said.
"We’re smart enough rookies to know that if we work together, we are going to do better.
"At the start of the year, we said to each other, ‘Let’s work together and push the team as hard as we can’.
“That’s what we’ve done.”
The two young drivers were rivals in the Dunlop Super2 Series, with Brown sharing his first overall podium with Kostecki on the streets of Newcastle in 2018.
Brown finished third behind winner Kostecki in the first two races in Adelaide last year, before Brown pipped Kostecki to P2 in the finale behind Race 3 winner and eventual series champion Thomas Randle.
Kostecki and Brown on the 2020 Adelaide Super2 podium
So close have Brown and Kostecki already become, that the former sprinted from pit lane to the podium to congratulate his teammate’s Race 5 podium.
Brown explained that he didn’t know Kostecki had fought for a podium until the race was over.
"I jumped out of the car after the race and I was trying to count who I had passed; I didn’t pass Brodie, so I thought he must have been up there somewhere,” Brown explained.
“The boys told me Brodie was on the podium and I was so pumped for the team.
“The team congratulated me and said they were heading down to the podium, so I thought I would come with and get in on the action.”
It was a welcome result for Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan and team owner Betty Klimenko, with Erebus claiming just one win across the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Already, it seems the decision to operate with two rookies has been vindicated; something Brown believes is a successful formula.
Kostecki (L) on the Sandown podium
"Both Betty and Barry showed faith in us when they put us together, as you never normally see two rookies,” Brown said.
"But I think it is one of the best things they could have done.
"We are still competitive at heart, we both hate each other beating us; but on the other hand, when one of us do a really good job, we’ll be the first ones to pat each other on the back.
"I was really happy for him to get a podium, I showed that by running down there.
"Same thing, he would hate it if I got a podium, but he would cheer for me."
Kostecki heads to next month’s Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint 10th in the standings, with Brown 15th.