hero-img

Erebus: Triple Eight 'catching us a bit too fast'

02 Aug
Triple Eight slashes deficits in both championships
4 mins by James Pavey
Advertisement

Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan says rivals Red Bull Ampol Racing are catching his team "a bit too fast" as the 2023 season passes the halfway mark.

Seven rounds into the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship, and both the drivers' and teams' championship battles between Erebus and Triple Eight are the closest they've been all season.

Both teams have led the way in the first rounds of the Gen3 era, sharing 15 of the 19 wins on offer this season. Tickford Racing, Team 18, Matt Stone Racing and Dick Johnson Racing have one win each.

Recent history has shown championships being dominated by two teams, notably with Triple Eight (19 wins) and Ford Performance Racing (10) combining to win all 30 races in the 2012 season.

Triple Eight (17) and FPR (six) won 23 of the 38 races in 2014, with both teams combining for 28 of the 36 wins in 2015. DJR Team Penske (56) and Triple Eight (44) won 100 of 116 races between 2017 and 2020.

The top four of Brodie Kostecki, Will Brown, Shane van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney are the closest they've been all season at the conclusion of the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight.

Kostecki leads Brown by 41 points, van Gisbergen by 54, and Feeney by 67. Prior to Sydney, the margin between first and fourth was 72 points.

Full battle: Kostecki, van Gisbergen dispute Perth win

It's just as close in the teams' standings between Erebus and Triple Eight, with the margin just 80 points. The margin was as small as 79 points in Perth, and it blew out to 276 points in five races.

Triple Eight have clawed back ground since Tasmania, with Erebus losing ground as Kostecki lost points with dramas in Darwin (incident) and Townsville (mechanical).

The Erebus-Triple Eight battle has featured a number of flashpoints this season, starting with the tense four-car battle at Albert Park, before van Gisbergen and Kostecki got stuck into it in the Perth opener.

That battle saw Erebus protest the result of the race, which was later thrown out, seeing van Gisbergen cling onto victory.

Come Tasmania, and both Erebus drivers executed a pinch on Feeney to drop the #88 down the order off the start.

Van Gisbergen and Kostecki were again locked in combat in Tasmania and Darwin, with Feeney and Brown picking up multiple wins along the way.

Advertisement

The rivalry reached a new boiling point in Sydney, with van Gisbergen penalised over a last-lap bump-and-run on Brown in Sydney, which saw Ryan fined over an expletive-laden TV interview.

Kostecki, van Gisbergen dispute final podium position

Come Sunday, and van Gisbergen and Feeney's one-four result put pressure back on Erebus, with Kostecki (clutch issues) eighth and Brown (first lap spin) 14th.

In a single weekend, Erebus' lead blew out from 91 to 197 points, before being slashed back to 80 points, a fluctuation noted by Ryan.

“We had a little mechanical gremlin with the [#99], it was a bit frustrating,” Ryan told Supercars Trackside.

“We still fought, we’re still at the same points [margin] we came into the weekend, it’s the same gap.

“We’re still leading the championship, leading the teams’, we’re pretty happy.

“But Red Bull is catching us a bit too fast, we had a nice little buffer last night. We were pretty hard on ourselves today to make sure we don’t do it again.”

The championship fights head to Tailem Bend for the OTR SuperSprint on August 18-20. Tickets are on sale now.

2023 teams' championship lead progression

Race

Leader

Second

Gap

Newcastle 1

Erebus

Tickford

9

Newcastle 2

Erebus

Penrite

78

Albert Park 3

Erebus

Triple Eight

142

Albert Park 4

Erebus

Triple Eight

135

Albert Park 5

Erebus

Triple Eight

155

Albert Park 6

Erebus

Triple Eight

104

Perth 7

Erebus

Triple Eight

79

Perth 8

Erebus

Triple Eight

153

Perth 9

Erebus

Triple Eight

180

Tasmania 10

Erebus

Triple Eight

184

Tasmania 11

Erebus

Triple Eight

262

Tasmania 12

Erebus

Triple Eight

276

Darwin 13

Erebus

Triple Eight

260

Darwin 14

Erebus

Triple Eight

222

Darwin 15

Erebus

Triple Eight

142

Townsville 16

Erebus

Triple Eight

82

Townsville 17

Erebus

Triple Eight

91

Sydney 18

Erebus

Triple Eight

197

Sydney 19

Erebus

Triple Eight

80

Kostecki, van Gisbergen get into it on frantic restart

Related News

Advertisement