Home' Supercar Xtra : Aug Sept 2015 Issue 88 Contents 55
personal and big enough to be professional. All the
team, for instance, used to journey to the corporate
table and eat lunch with the guests. It was open. She
said that was her family.
In V8 Supercars, the numbers were just so much
bigger. Three cars in the first year under the SBR struc-
ture required a lot of people, and there were special
tents for feeding the crew and guests as well if they
liked. But what did all the people do?
This is where she started thinking about specialisa-
tions and the concept of contractors and part-timers.
Campbell Little, for instance, probably wouldn’t have
signed on with the old structure.
“I miss the atmosphere from the GTs and the idea
that we didn’t run many full-timers and we could have
specialists for tasks and venues. They do that in other
places around the world, too; if we build it right and
enough people who know enough about the car we can
bring in Bathurst specialists for Bathurst, for instance.
“I’ve always thought that was a brilliant concept;
it means you don’t need a huge full-time staff. But it
wasn’t the way you do it in V8s... I’m not the kind of
person that always listens to being told what to do. I
want to do what is right for me, not because that is the
way it has been done for God knows how many years.”
So the recent restructure of Erebus Motorsport is
all about that, not the downsizing as reported. Betty
starts to speak quickly and emphatically when you get
into this topic. She rejects the media reports the team
is struggling to survive and this is a last-ditch effort to
keep going. It was planned, and it is her way of doing it.
And it is a long-term vision that is scalable and flexible.
“My way involves questions why I need eight people
to do the job of four people, I’d rather have three doing
it,” she says. “It just does not make sense to me how
that works in V8 Supercars... why do I need someone
for the left tyre and the right tyre?
“For me, this now makes sense. Why put someone
on for the full year just for one round? There are plenty
of people out there who know Bathurst well, so you
can do this. If my crew keeps changing all the time, it is
because that is how I want it.”
With Ross leaving she needed someone like Little to
come along. He is a thinker with plenty of experience,
especially with other categories and teams. She spoke
with Little about his former connections with SBR
before she employed him and she found he was very
open to new ways of thinking and a new way of doing
things. With him, Betty is forging what she believes
may become the norm in a few years.
If you wanted to work for Erebus, you’d need to
come to grips with Betty. She still finds it a bit of an
old boys’ club; she recalls a time when the owner of
another team came into the garage and told then team
principal Ryan Maddison to give Betty some messages
while she was standing next to him. This hasn’t really
As for the current state of Erebus, Betty says there
are benefits in being the only team running one type of
car and doing without manufacturer support, but also
some difficulties. She likes the fact that she doesn’t
have a master as such; she can do it as she likes.
The downside is that there is no one to share things
like engine development and sponsorship is harder to
get. But she is happy.
“I am a realist, Daimler-Mercedes will never back our
team and I know that,” she says.
“HWA made our engine to our specs but there
came a day when we needed to bring it in-house, for
instance, they just didn’t understand how we went
racing and that was important. It is nice to be able to
just make decisions like that we need to take. We had
to create a base but it was unlikely to ever last forever.
“We had to do it at the hard way to start with; it took
us to the abyss and back again. But from here is rela-
tively easy, that is why we don’t need the same number
of staff. We had to streamline it... we are a racing team,
not a manufacturer, so if one of my team members has
his shirt untucked, so be it.”
ABOVE: Campbell Little
(left) has been a valuable
addition to the team
following the loss of
leading lights such as Ross
V8X88 p54-56 Erebus.indd 55
3/07/2015 2:49 pm
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