With a passion for Motorsport that stems back over five decades, this high octane heiress, has the racing bug deep in her system.
Southern Highlands resident, Betty Klimenko is the owner of Erebus Motorsport and can’t get enough of the sport.
“I used to watch the Formula 1 with my father,” she said.
Not one to sit by and watch, Betty took a more hands on approach 20 years ago and got into the motor racing business.
“At first I sponsored a driver,” she said.
“Then it became sponsoring a team and then I bought my own Formula 3 team.”
From the teams humble Formula 3 beginnings, Betty and the team have succeeded in different racing series such as Formula Holden, GT Racing Series, and dominating the mountain at Bathurst in the 12 hour endurance race.
After accomplishing so much, Betty wanted to do more than just race six times a year in the GT series, she had a new ambition.
“One day, I turned to my husband and said, what about V8 Super Cars?” Betty said.
“And that’s how we got into racing V8 Super Cars six years ago.”
For a little team, we’ve done exceptionally well this year.Betty Klimenko
Many motor sport fans have their favourite driver, Betty loves the sport for the machinery.
“I never had a favourite driver growing up,” she said.
“The cars were my favorite, I loved to just watch them.
“I watch to see how they move and think about what they are doing at that moment.
“I like to call it ‘car-ology’ where the the car, the driver and the engineer are like one, that’s what interests me.”
A racing career of her own was never on the cards but Betty has found her place as an owner of the team.
“I’ve always just loved the cars but I do get car sick,” she said.
“I love driving cars, normal cars that is, but I’ve never wanted to race.
“Once it leaves the garage and enters the track, it’s all up to the driver and I just stand back and bite my nails the whole time.”
The name Erebus wasn’t the original planned name or the only name considered.
“In the GT series we had the name Cactus,” Betty said.
“But I didn’t realise what Cactus actually meant and that was ‘everything’s turned to crap’
“So I changed it from Cactus to Rocking Angel, It was a great name in Europe but it didn’t suit the V8s so I changed it to Erebus, named after the Greek God of darkness.”
Betty stated that she wanted to be the first woman to successfully start a racing team from scratch and she’s out to prove all the doubters wrong.
“We’ve won Bathurst and proved you don’t need to be a big team to win,” she said.
“We started off with a car we manufactured ourselves, then we went from Mercedes to Holden engines.
“It may sound like a downgrade but it really wasn’t, Holden had been racing for a long time and knew racing.
“It took so much pressure off me from having to build my own engines and gave me more time to focus on the car itself.
“We’ve come from placing last to finishing fourth behind the big three.
“For a little team, we’ve done exceptionally well this year.”
There’s still one more goal Betty and her team want to accomplish.
“I’d love to win a championship,” she said.
“It’s the only thing we really have left to do.
“I hate being called the little team and we’ve proved you don’t need to be a gigantic team to win.”