The motorsport community has been buzzed with speculation following media reports suggesting that Brodie Kostecki, last year’s acclaimed Supercars champion, might be parting ways with Erebus Motorsport, the team instrumental in his championship triumph.
This news was first reported by the motorsport outlet Speedcafe last week. They reported that Kostecki, who clinched the 2023 championship, has ended his association with Erebus Motorsport.
Brodie’s management still remains unavailable to comment on the ongoing speculations… so it’s safe to say there is something unfolding behind the scenes we just quiet aren’t aware of yet.
The only thing we are sure of so far is that Brodie will miss the season-opening Bathurst 500, and Todd Hazlewood will pilot the #99 for the opening round and be available on an ongoing basis if need be round by round.
However, a little over twenty-four hours after the Speecafe article was released, Erebus took to social media with the following statement.
The Erebus Statement
“Contrary to media reports, Brodie Kostecki remains part of the Erebus Motorsport family and is a valued member of our team. Brodie has indicated he’s not in a position to take part in the opening round of the 2024 Supercars Championship.
Todd Hazlewood will stand in for Brodie at the Bathurst 500 from February 23-25″
In a Supercars statement, Supercars CEO Shane Howard said: “We understand the gravity of Brodie’s decision and the challenges he may be facing at this time.
“On behalf of everyone at Supercars, we wish Brodie all the best, and we sincerely hope to witness his return to the Repco Supercars Championship in the future.
“In the meantime, we extend our support to Erebus as they navigate the start of the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship with Todd Hazelwood and Jack Le Brocq driving for the team.
“Defending a Championship title is never an easy task, but we are confident in Erebus’s ability to adapt and continue their pursuit of success on the track.”
With a number of statements now from Supercars, Erebus and media outlets, we are still yet to hear from the champ himself, and Kostecki’s management has not issued a statement, possibly because they can’t due to contract conditions.
Champions back Kostecki.
But something that might put some form of insight into this is former champions Scott Mclaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen have taken to social media to support Kostecki and elude to greater issues within the category.
SVG took to Instagram to say “What a sad situation to read about in Australia right now with @brodiekostecki. I went through a similar situation 10 or so years ago – Not being able to say much, plus the team and media setting the narrative out of your control is not fun. Full support here and hope that it works out the correct way, with Brodie enjoying driving race cars in 2024.”
Followed up by Scott Mclaughlin,
“We understand the gravity of Brodie’s decision and the challenges he may be facing at this time.” In an official Supercars statement.
The sport should be ashamed. They know the full story and as per usual side step around everything and don’t say anything hoping the storm will settle like they always have. No protection for drivers ever.
Full support for Brodie Kostecki”
Major Sponsors leaving Erebus Motorsport
The pressure is mounting on Erebus with confirmation that multiple sponsors are leaving the squad, with Shaw and Partner confirming they will no longer be working with the team and according to Speedcafe, Coca-Cola has ended its naming rights sponsorship of the team.
However, the more damning revelation comes from sponsor SCTR who contacted Speedcafe and provided his reasons for leaving which you can read here
Owner Steve Blackmore told Speedcafe,
“They release a press release saying Brodie is still part of the team, which in my mind was to try and buy some time over the situation,” Blackmore explained.
“But in reality, as a partner and as somebody who is friends with both sides of the party, it’s like two friends and you know they’ve separated, they’re living in separate houses and they’re not talking, but technically they are still married.
“The contract is still binding. But the truth of the matter is, you know that they’re not together. So it puts people into a hard situation.
“It was disingenuous. It was also disingenuous from Supercars, because their press release was already on their website combined with Erebus’ press release, so it was coordinated. And it’s misleading.
“It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, because at the end of the day we’re trying to make commercial decisions, and it makes us look really bad… like we’re jumping ship at the first sign of troubled waters. And that’s not the case.
“People are making commercial decisions because we’re fully aware that there’s a lot more to the story, and if things do come out, they are potentially damaging to other people’s brands.”