Erebus vs Triple Eight: The story so far

09 Aug
Flashpoints from a dramatic and controversial title fight

When the Gen3 era began in Newcastle, the question was posed — who would take the fight to Triple Eight in 2023?

Through seven rounds, the call has been more than answered by Erebus Motorsport, which has gone toe-to-toe with the reigning champions.

The 2023 season has proven a case of an irresistible force meeting an unmovable object — and after 19 races, the top four drivers are covered by 67 points, with the teams’ margin just 80 points.

Erebus and Triple Eight are locked in combat for both titles in the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship, with the margin narrowing all the time.

At every round so far, there has been some form of Erebus vs Triple Eight tension, with the narrative taking a new twist amid reports Will Brown could replace Shane van Gisbergen in 2024.

For now, Brown and van Gisbergen, along with Brodie Kostecki and Broc Feeney, are locked in combat for title honours — but the battle has been heated all the way through, both on and off track.


Kostecki landed the first punch of the new era with pole for Race 1 in Newcastle, only for van Gisbergen to lead Feeney in a dominant Red Bull Ampol one-two — or so it seemed. Van Gisbergen and Feeney were disqualified overnight over a technical breach, promoting Cam Waters and Chaz Mostert to form a Ford one-two, with Kostecki and Brown elevated to third and fourth. Van Gisbergen led home Mostert on Sunday, but with two strong days, Erebus took control of the teams’ championship, with Triple Eight 156 points down.

Albert Park

Triple Eight (six wins) and Erebus (five) shared 11 straight wins between Newcastle and Tasmania, with Kostecki and van Gisbergen sharing the four wins at Albert Park. Van Gisbergen opened proceedings with a controlled performance in Race 3, before Kostecki went back-to-back in Races 4 and 5. Remarkably, all four Camaros went line astern in the opening stages of Race 5, with Kostecki emerging as leader and eventual winner. Feeney won the finale, which saw Brown become the first driver of the four to crack when he spun out while battling Mostert for the effective lead. With Brown’s lowly finish, the margin between the two teams had been slashed to 104 points.


Full battle: Kostecki, van Gisbergen dispute Perth win

The rivalry hit top gear in the West, with van Gisbergen defeating Kostecki in a thrilling battle in the Perth opener. The fuse was lit when, as Kostecki was hit with a bad sportsmanship flag for blocking, van Gisbergen barged past at Turn 6 on the penultimate lap. While both drivers shook hands in pit lane, it later emerged that Erebus lodged a protest over the race result, which was later thrown out. Erebus arrived on Sunday with a point to prove, and as van Gisbergen faltered in qualifying, Brown led a dominant Erebus one-two before Feeney cruised to victory in the finale. Amid the drama, Kostecki opened up a healthy championship lead, with Erebus vaulting to an extended 180-point lead in the teams' standings.


Van Gisbergen crashes out of Race 11

Brown made his title aspirations clear with two victories at Symmons Plains, with Feeney winning the first race on Sunday. Brown was the only driver of the four to enjoy a clean weekend, with van Gisbergen and Kostecki both striking significant trouble. The title picture changed dramatically in the first race when Kostecki was escorted into the hairpin wall by Waters, with Feeney caught up in an incident of his own as he sent Mostert into a race-ending spin. Come Sunday, and van Gisbergen again fell foul of a poor qualifying performance, with the #97 Camaro sent into the tyre barriers after first-lap contact with David Reynolds.

Kostecki, van Gisbergen dispute final podium position

Triple Eight hurriedly repaired van Gisbergen's car, and the Kiwi got stuck into Kostecki again for the final spot on the podium as Brown and Feeney ran away. It wasn't the only love-lost incident between the two teams, with both Erebus cars holding Feeney out wide at the first corner off the line. As Kostecki and Brown took control of the drivers' championship, Erebus opened up a whopping 276-point lead over Triple Eight.


Kostecki, van Gisbergen get into it on frantic restart

After 11 straight wins between them, Erebus and Triple Eight could only muster a win, Feeney's in Race 14, at Hidden Valley. Erebus' title fortunes took a big hit in Darwin after a winless weekend, with Feeney leading a Triple Eight quinella in the first Sunday race before Kostecki was caught up in a first-lap incident in the finale. Van Gisbergen's weekend was undone by handling issues, but he remained a factor and clashed with Kostecki again on a Safety Car restart. The off track drama continued between the teams, with Erebus requesting an investigation into alleged dangerous driving by van Gisbergen while he battled Brown. With Kostecki suffering another poor result in the finale, Brown edged ever closer, with Triple Eight slashing Erebus' teams' lead to 142 points.


Van Gisbergen arrived in Townsville Erebus happier after a shock debut victory in NASCAR, but Brown enjoyed the running with a pole-to-victory performance on the Saturday. Brown took the championship lead with the Race 16 win after Kostecki suffered more issues, this time with mechanical problems with his #99 Coca-Cola Camaro. Brown's charge to victory began with a hiccup after a bold Turn 2 dive by van Gisbergen, with Feeney trailing home the #9 Chevrolet.

Erebus' fortunes changed again come Sunday, with Triple Eight suffering a qualifying shocker and a team orders fiasco that left van Gisbergen seething over team radio. Anton De Pasquale won for Ford and Shell V-Power Racing Team, but despite the teams' margin being cut further to 91 points, Erebus boss Barry Ryan took great satisfaction in the Red Bull Ampol teammates tripping over each other.


Tension in the Erebus/Triple Eight battle hit new heights at Sydney Motorsport Park in a fiery night race won by Kostecki, his first victory since Albert Park. As Kostecki streaked away, Brown and van Gisbergen were embroiled in a late-race battle with Ford duo Mostert and Waters. Mostert and Waters emerged ahead, leaving Brown vulnerable to van Gisbergen, only for the two Camaros to swap places on the final lap. However, van Gisbergen was penalised over a bump-and-run, handing third to Brown. However, it wasn't without further controversy, with Ryan fined over an expletive-laden TV interview immediately before the van Gisbergen penalty was announced.

Van Gisbergen, aboard Triple Eight's wildcard chassis, was a renewed force and dominated from pole on Sunday, with Kostecki and Brown both suffering problems. Kostecki dropped from a podium position to eighth after clutch problems, while Brown was forced to recover to 14th after a first-corner clash with Reynolds. With Feeney fourth, Triple Eight clashed the teams' deficit to 80 points, with the top four drivers split by just 67 points.

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the OTR SuperSprint on August 18-20. Tickets are on sale now.

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