The Erebus Academy has announced a new partnership with Melbourne City Toyota at Mount Panorama today.

It marks the first round back for Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia Series drivers Jobe Stewart, Bailey Sweeny and Harrison Gray; and the first time that they will all carry backing from the Melbourne-based dealer group.

With four large retailers across the city, Melbourne City Toyota provide various motoring services; including a large range of vehicles for sale, finance, servicing and repairs, and Genuine parts and accessories.

Erebus CEO Barry Ryan is thrilled to see the Erebus Academy starting to take on sponsors of its own.

“It’s really important for us to work with up-and-coming drivers and support them through the Erebus Academy in any way we can,” he said.

“Toyota 86 is a great stepping stone for these drivers and each of them have proven they’re ready to take the next step in their careers.

“Having Melbourne City Toyota come on board to help with our support of these talented drivers is something we are proud of and we look forward to working with them in 2021.”

Similarly, Melbourne City Toyota Managing Director, Rod Ayoubi is keen to support the development of young drivers through their motorsport careers.

“Motorsport is in our DNA, and so is getting behind our local community,” he said.

“That’s why Melbourne City Toyota are proud to partner with Erebus Academy and sponsor three of their emerging Toyota 86 drivers for the 2021 season.

“We look forward to cheering for this year’s rising stars, and we wish Erebus T86 a great season of ‘oh what a feeling’ moments.”

Despite last year’s setbacks, with only one out of five T86 races going ahead, the drivers are feeling confident heading into this weekend’s season opener.

“With a pretty strong result for my first time at Bathurst last year, going back to the same track means I have some good track knowledge and won’t have to waste any time learning it,” Stewart said.

“It has been a while between races but I’m super excited to finally get back into it.”

Similarly, Gray is feeling well prepared after spending his off-season putting down laps at Sydney Motorsport Park, as well as practising on his simulator.

Sweeny, meanwhile, spent his off-season competing in the Australian Karting Championship and is looking forward to the Bathurst opener after his debut run last year.

“Last year was a big learning experience because everything was new to me,” Sweeny said.

“I’m excited to get the season underway because I have a lot more confidence now.”

Melbourne City Toyota will be represented on three of the Erebus Academy at Bathurst this weekend.

Stewart, Sweeny and Gray will be out on track this afternoon at 1:35 local time after fog delayed this morning’s run.