- Kostecki will not race with Erebus this Supercars season
- Erebus owner and boss questioned over reported breach
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Erebus Motorsport boss Barry Ryan broke down in tears and admitted his family fear he will harm himself because of the hate he has received since announcing reigning Supercars champion Brodie Kostecki will not return this season.
Alongside team owner Betty Klimenko, Ryan addressed the dramatic fallout from the offseason on Friday for the first time since January, when Erebus told fans that Kostecki would not race the season-opening Bathurst 500.
Triple Eight Race Engineering team owner Roland Dane had previously claimed that a “toxic workplace” was behind the split between Kostecki and Erebus, while the high-profile exit has sparked many social media attacks against the equipment.
The exact details of why Kostecki is negotiating an exit from Erebus remain a mystery, while there is the potential for litigation and the possibility of the champion driver not racing at all in 2024.
Barry Ryan became emotional during the interview and admitted his family feared for his well-being following the Brodie Kostecki saga.
Team owner Betty Klimenko comforts Ryan as he struggles to compose himself in front of the cameras during the interview.
In an emotional interview, Ryan admitted that the constant public attacks on his integrity had taken a toll on him and his family.
“Having my wife and daughters make sure I’m not going to get hurt or do something stupid,” he said, through tears, was the hardest part.
‘Because there has been a lot of hate and I’m not that kind of person.
‘I’m not a bully, I don’t do anything but worry about people.
‘During the whole process of this, the wife of one of my best friends passed away. We’ve been with him in intensive care hospitals and tried to support him.’
“It’s just been difficult.”
Klimenko comforted Ryan as he spoke, adding, “Barry, you have a heart of gold.” What happens is that they don’t see it.
Klimenko is pictured (center) during the happiest days for Erebus. She says the team has been rebuilt before and can be rebuilt again.
The real reasons why Brodie Kostecki decided to leave Erebus remain a mystery and he may not race in the Supercars Championship this season.
Klimenko and Ryan did not comment on the nature of the dispute, leaving it doubtful whether Kostecki will race under the Erebus banner again.
‘It is yet to be confirmed. “We respect Brodie’s privacy and will see where he goes in the coming weeks,” Ryan said.
Klimenko added: “It’s not in our hands.”
Ryan said the team is now rebuilding with endurance driver Todd Hazelwood taking Kostecki’s place at Mount Panorama this weekend, along with new recruit Jack Le Brocq.
“We are always moving up.”
Endurance specialist Todd Hazelwood has been elevated to the top driver position at Erebus Motorsport
Jack LeBrocq will also race for Erebus Motorsport, joining Hazlewood following the departure of Kostecki
Three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen called the dispute a “sad situation” for Kostecki, while several sponsors, including Coca-Cola, Shaw and Partners and Southern Cross Truck Rentals, also withdrew their support.
‘(Things) will become clear at some point. “That’s not what matters,” Klimenko said.
‘What matters is that we respect Brodie’s privacy. We respect the fact that we can’t say anything and we just had to accept this.
“We’ve had to stand up to the haters…but sometimes, in the dead of night, you just can’t let it go.”
‘When I arrived today, I burst into tears on the plane. I just wanted to go home, but then I thought, ‘no, I have a team here waiting for me.’
“Pain is a real thing.”
The first training session of the year began at 12.20pm (AEDT) on Friday.
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