Emotional Klimenko revels in 'surreal' title glory

25 Nov
'They said I could not do it and I was stupid to go into V8s and I would be squashed like a bug'
  • Erebus owner Betty Klimenko labels Brodie Kostecki’s title win “surreal”

  • Kostecki secured the crown in Adelaide after finishing sixth

  • Erebus debuted in Supercars with three Mercedes-AMGs in 2013

Erebus Motorsport owner Betty Klimenko has labelled Brodie Kostecki’s championship glory as “surreal” after the star driver secured the crown in Adelaide.

Kostecki clinched the drivers’ title with sixth in Race 27 after rival Shane van Gisbergen crashed on the opening lap.

Sixth was more than enough for Kostecki to seal the deal, with the result coming 10 years after Klimenko first entered Supercars in Adelaide with three Mercedes-AMGs.

“This is very surreal,” Klimenko said on the broadcast.

“It is something you strive for and when people say what would you rather win, Bathurst or a championship? I always say Bathurst, because it is obtainable.

“Being a privateer, we didn’t think a championship was ever obtainable. But now we have done it. It just shows all the others that you can do it and you don’t need to be factory backed and can do it on your own.

kostecki celebrate 1

“They said I could not do it and I was stupid to go into V8s and I would be squashed like a bug.”

Erebus didn’t win a race in 2022. Come 2023, and the team flew out of the blocks and has won 12 of 27 races this season in the first year of the Gen3 regulations.

Erebus was born out of Stone Brothers Racing, which won three straight titles between 2003 and 2005. 


Three seasons with Mercedes-AMGS delivered two wins, and the team shifted to Holden in 2016 as Ryan arrived. It took a year to bear fruit, with David Reynolds and Luke Youlden winning the Great Race.

Reynolds initially pushed the might of Triple Eight and DJR Team Penske for the 2018 title, but ultimately fell away.

barry ryan betty adelaide 2023

Armed with young gun Kostecki, the team didn’t miss this time.

Klimenko credited Erebus CEO Barry Ryan to the turnaround since its bruising first seasons, culminating in the Bathurst victory and now, a championship.

“At the beginning, we were squashed a bit but it was Barry who changed it all and two years later, we won Bathurst,” she said.

“That was five years after we arrived and now another five years, we have won the championship and I am so proud.

“I hope that my father, mother and brother are all watching from up there… I look at all these faces and think, ‘Well done Betty’.”

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