V8 Supercars not worried by Mercedes 180

ED JACKSON
Last updated 21:04 08/08/2012

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V8 Supercars remain confident more manufacturers will join the championship from next year despite talks between an aspiring team and Mercedes-Benz breaking down.

Australian GT Championship outfit Erebus Racing were hoping to enter the V8s in 2013 after getting a nod of approval from Germany for their plans to run a Mercedes-backed car but had their hopes dashed on Wednesday when the Australia/Pacific arm of the luxury auto maker called off negotiations.

It remains unclear if the news will end Erebus Racing's intention to join the V8s field but V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane is still confident other brands could line up alongside Holden, Ford and newcomers Nissan in the 2013 championship.

Cochrane was angered by some reports Mercedes had been in discussions with V8s themselves and had shunned the championship rather than an aspiring team.

"It's not V8 Supercars that goes and doorknocks the manufacturer - we don't race the cars," said Cochrane, adding the championship had joined the discussions at Erebus's request.

"What we do, have done and continue to do, with various teams, is go and stand alongside them to represent V8 Supercars at the table in a negotiation between the team and the manufacturer.

"We paint the overall V8 Supercar story and the team paints their story of how they want the manufacturer to be involved or not be involved.

"We didn't get knocked back - Erebus Racing did."

Cochrane said he was aware of at least two ongoing discussions between teams and manufacturers but denied claims the championship was under any pressure to add more brands before the start of next year.

"To be honest with you, if we just end up with the three we've got, we're very happy," he told AAP.

"I'm personally aware of some other very, very big conversations that are going on at the moment ... with at least two manufacturers.

"It's not our place to announce when a manufacturer is joining the championship. It's the manufacturer's role in association with the team and we're happy to go along and support that and we will do that if we're asked to."

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- AAP

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