The original Stone Brothers Racing-built Next Generation V8 Supercar will finally enjoy its race debut at the Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 after being converted into a Mercedes-Benz.
The car underwent a brief shakedown featuring a Ford engine and bodywork package at Queensland Raceway on October 17, 2012, before being parked as the team prepared three new Mercedes-Benz E63s for the following season.
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After a lengthy process to strip the chassis back to its control floor and roll-cage it sat at Erebus as a spare, ready for such an emergency.
With Garry Rogers Motorsport having elected to build two new cars when it moved from Holden to Volvo for 2014, the Erebus chassis will be the first rebirthed Next Generation car to hit the track.
Although the original mandate for the Next Generation vehicles suggested that such situations would be a simple change-over, Erebus team manager Ben Croke says that it was “almost like building a new car again”.
“Other than the roll-cage and floor, everything has been changed on it,” said Croke.
“All the front chassis rails and rear were all re-done, all the body sides and so on to accommodate the Mercedes body work.”
“Track availability and getting the car finished in time will determine that and at the moment it's fifty-fifty,” said Croke of a shakedown.
The ex-Slade car will run at a ride day on the Monday after the event but, according to Croke, hasn't received chassis upgrades that were applied to the 2014 race cars and the ex-Ford chassis.
“Over the summer we made quite a few changes to our two current cars and this new body shell has all of those changes incorporated,” he said.
“The ex-#47 car hasn't been done yet so the decision was based on wanting to run both cars in the same specification.
“Using that car would have been an easier option but we want to give our drivers the same opportunities heading to the Gold Coast.”
As for the car crashed at Bathurst, Croke says it will likely be repaired over the off-season before existing as a spare next year.
“It's repairable but it needs a lot of work,” he said.
“It's sustained heavy damage to the rear corner where it hit the fence and the top of the windscreen where it landed on its roof, as well as the side that Russell ran into.”
Croke says Erebus will continue to run its regular engine package on the Gold Coast as it continues to work on its upgraded specification unit briefly trialled at Sandown.
The team is one of several expected to be disadvantaged by a decision from the V8 Supercars Commission to revoke the fuel economy parity measure previously instated for the event.
The Holden Racing Team, Ford Performance Racing and Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport are meanwhile also reverting to spare cars for the Gold Coast after Bathurst crashes.
In addition to the re-appearance of the original Next Generation SBR chassis, the Holden Racing Team and Ford Performance Racing will also revert back to their first completed current-spec cars for Garth Tander/Warren Luff and David Reynolds/Dean Canto respectively.
Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport will meanwhile also use a replacement car after Tim Blanchard's shunt in its primary chassis at Mount Panorama.