The announcement of the Car of the Future for V8 Supercars was a big win for the sport, with new manufacturers entering to take on the old guards Ford and Holden. But only one newbie is officially in.
The problem V8 Supercars currently faces is the lack of factory support for the Mercedes-Benz cars on the grid. In other words, even though Mercs will be racing, Merc isn’t officially responsible for them. Television promos and billboards for next month’s opening round – the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide – might just confuse the average fan.
- Ford logos – Tick
- Holden logos – Tick
- Nissan logos – Tick
- Mercedes Benz logos – No
Nissan has entered the series as a factory supported decision – they’re putting the big bucks behind it all, hence the logos. But as explained, Merc won’t be putting official logos up there.
A wealthy business woman, Betty Klimenko, is behind the race team Erebus Motorsport which is running the Mercedes-Benz cars. As a very, very big customer of Mercedes, the factory couldn’t say no to her ambitions of racing a V8 Supercar team with its vehicles – in this case, the E series sedan.
For a detailed insight into the back-room shenanigans that made the deal happen, check out this drive.com.au piece where Peter McKay has tried to make all that clear.
It’s a bit of a shame that it has to be Erebus logos alongside Ford, Holden and Nissan. It’s not like we have a local Erebus dealer nearby so arguably it doesn’t add as much value to the competition as the Mercedes brand could.
Business is a funny thing sometimes, but you could hardly blame Mercedes-Benz for not wanting officially in. You don’t have to be a marketing genius to realise V8 Supercars with factory backed Fords, Holdens and Nissans doesn’t quite fit in with Mercedes-Benz’ target market.