Mercedes-Benz will be represented in the V8 Supercars championship from next year following a deal between Stone Brothers Racing, Erebus Motorsport and AMG. Mercedes will join Nissan, another newcomer to the series, at the start of next year.
Stone Brothers will merge with Australian GT squad Erebus Motorsport to run three AMG E Class cars during the 2013 season. The newly formed team will operate under a Customer Sports Program of AMG, although it will be privately funded and have no official connection with Mercedes-Benz or AMG.
SBR will thus put an end to its partnership with Ford, which began when the team was formed back in 1998 and that resulted in three championships with Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall.
"Leaving Ford was not an easy thing to do, but as car markets change here in Australia I felt the time was right for a new challenge and with Ford's mutual agreement we have decided to part ways," said team owner Ross Stone. "We will be racing a Ford Falcon for the last time at Olympic Park in December and will see out our contract which ends this year. I'd like to thank Ford and all our supporters for their backing and we now look forward to entering a new era of racing with Erebus Motorsport."
The three cars will run 5.0-liter engines with the AMG bodywork over the V8 series' "Car of the Future" chassis. V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane said the announcement was another boost for the series.
"Having Erebus Motorsport combined with SBR on the grid says much for the evolution of V8 Supercars to an internationally recognised brand," Cochrane said. "With the customer sports support of AMG, the marque joins another world-wide giant in Nissan in our championship under the Erebus Motorsport and SBR partnership, further demonstrating that our sport is truly on the international stage."