Australia’s V8 Supercars racing series
is about to get a lot more interesting with news today that a team fielding a trio of Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG sedans will be participating at the start of the 2013 season. The Mercedes brand is being represented by a private customer team, Erebus Motorsport, and is the second newcomer, the first being Nissan, which will be racing its new Altima.
V8 Supercars traditionally pits local heroes, the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore, against each other, though in its earlier days the series saw much more entries. Now, thanks to new Car of the Future regulations, it is easier for other makes to join.
The regulations essentially call for a single ‘control’ chassis, which will be common to all teams. Engines and styling, though, are unique. While Ford and Holden teams rely on racing V-8 engines from their respective American parents, Nissan will be using a Nismo-tuned version of the V-8 in the Infiniti M56
while Mercedes-Benz will be using a modified version of the V-8 found in the SLS AMG supercar.
The E63’s regular engine is not allowed due to the rules calling for naturally-aspirated engines with a maximum displacement of 5.0 liters. Just to keep things fair, the engines must also have an rpm limit of between 7,000 and 7,500 revs, an output of around 650 horsepower, and a torque curve that’s in parity with its rival units from Ford and Holden.
Note, Erebus Motorsport isn’t getting any factory support here, though AMG will be selling much of the components the team needs to build its new race cars. Erebus Motorsport, owned by businesswoman and Mercedes nut Betty Klimenko, already races a pair of SLS AMG GT3 race cars in the Australian GT Championship.
The trio of E63 AMG race cars are still under development though should be ready in time for the start of the 2013 season in February.
Erebus Motorsport will be working with another team, Stone Brothers Racing, which has already won several championships in V8 Supercars, two of which were accomplished by Marcos Ambrose, who is now competing in NASCAR.
While Mercedes-Benz has no official affiliation with the new entry and is itself against competing in V8 Supercars, the automaker has wished Erebus Motorsport well in its endeavor.