Erebus Motorsport is celebrating their 200th race this afternoon in the second race at Albert Park and the team’s certainly come a long way.
Betty Klimenko’s squad arrived in 2013 and since then there has been a few eye-rolling moments, head-in-the-hand moments and moments of black comedy.
Most importantly though, the double century has provided golden moments.
“My first race ever in Adelaide stands out for obvious reasons but also because Maro Engel’s car burst into flames in pit lane, and he said, ‘oh I’ve had my first Australian BBQ’,” Betty laughed.
Lee Holdsworth scored the team’s first victory in 2014 at Winton, and the second followed in Barbagallo the next year, before an extensive switch to Holden Commodore’s for 2016.
“It took me the long road to get to where I am now, I should have listened to smarter people than myself in the beginning, but I had no choice,” Betty said.
“The best decision I made was to put it in the hands of Barry Ryan and switch to Holden.
“Barry brought it back down to reality, back down to zero. We looked like a pack of hillbillies that year but from there we started again, and we started doing better.”
It was a learning year for the young team, but with rapid progression they claimed victory at Bathurst in 2017, becoming the second team to win both the 1000-classic and 12-Hour enduro.
“I have never been so proud of my team,” Betty said.
“It was incredible because you don’t win Bathurst by accident, you win it because you’ve got a very good team.”
2018 the team won three more races, one of which came at Albert Park, doubling its career wins tally in a single season. Erebus also claimed five more poles to bring the total to six.
“We’ve achieved our results because of the people we have,” Betty said.
“I never thought I would be here with these people that I’m with now, the crew around me, and how close we are; they’re more like family to me and I think that’s the secret to our success.”
Their fourth position in the Team’s Championship proved their worth and Betty has already set her squad’s next target.
“Everyone would expect me to say I want a Championship, honestly I’d prefer another Bathurst first, or the Enduro Cup,” she said.
“I would like a Team’s Championship though, so you can say you are the best team, I prefer that over Driver’s because it’s for everyone.”
This weekend also marks another anniversary for the team, celebrating 100 races with Penrite Oil as a major backer yesterday.
They line up for the 200th race at 12:50pm local time.