Erebus Motorsport came into existence in 2011 with team owner Betty Klimenko setting her sights on succeeding in the fast-paced world of motorsport. With several accomplishments in GTs under her belt, both domestically and internationally, Betty was eager for more. As a result, she took over a Supercars team to rebrand it as her own. Fast forward to 2023, and Erebus has continued their winning streak with pole positions and podium finishes, partly due to unique technology partnerships like the one they have with D2N – Technology Solutions.
As Erebus Motorsport race engineer, Tom Moore, explains, “We were previously using D2N as a supplier, purchasing smaller items from them, such as radio adapter looms and rooftop antennas. They were one of the few suppliers in Australia producing radio parts specifically for motorsport and Supercars. The radio applications used in Supercars are very specific, making it challenging to find suppliers with equipment that suits our needs precisely. Knowing that D2N also supplied high-end intercom equipment, and particularly interested in Riedel, we approached them when considering upgrading our garage communications.”
One significant reason Erebus wanted to invest in a D2N wireless intercom system was the duplex interaction it allows between engineers, car controllers, crew, and team managers, all at the same time.
Moore continued, “We had instances during pit stops where the information provided by the engineer to the car controller needed updating after the pit stop had begun. With standard digital RF radios, communicating a change once the car controller has keyed up the car in the pit lane is virtually impossible. In this sport, one preventable issue is one too many. We needed to invest in the latest technology to ensure we were always equipped to achieve the best results. For that, we turned to D2N for their expertise and solutions.”
Among other items, D2N provided Erebus with a Riedel Bolero standalone belt pack system, consisting of 15 belt packs, three charging bays, one Network Stream Adapter (NSA), and two Bolero antennas. They also custom-built Riedel MAX headsets for Erebus with individualised ports to meet the team’s requirements.
Moore added, “The equipment supplied by D2N perfectly meets our needs, and we utilise its features regularly. We can communicate throughout the garage to multiple people or groups concurrently, essentially hands-free.”
According to Moore, in addition to being user-friendly for the engineers and car controller, the pit crew, who now listen to radio messages via a wireless intercom rather than an RF radio, are particularly impressed by the significant improvement in audio quality.
He added, “The crew couldn’t believe that communication within the garage could be so clear. Every person in the garage uses at least one Bolero belt pack. The engineers, team principal, and crew chief use theirs to communicate to each other individually or in specified groups. They use them to communicate to the pit crew for each car during all sessions, including live pit stops. We use the NSA to bring in radio transmissions from the car to the Bolero system to be heard by any team member, and similarly, race control transmissions are brought into the system via the NSA.”
While race engineers still communicate directly to the car with an RF radio, these transmissions are brought into the Bolero network via a Riedel NSA. The pit crew, car controller, and team principal then listen to these transmissions on their belt packs.
Race engineers communicate with their respective car crews via a Bolero belt pack, and the car crews receive messages from the race engineers on their own belt packs.
Moore said, “Our car controller uses his belt pack to communicate with the entire crew as well as the two cars. In some situations, like a double stack pit stop, the car controller communicates with both drivers, both race engineers, a data engineer, team principal, and up to 10 crew members all simultaneously and hands-free while conducting a pit stop. The most impressive aspect of the D2N solution is the difference in audio quality between an internal wireless intercom transmission and a standard RF radio transmission. They aren’t even comparable in terms of audio quality. However, the system’s features and additional functions are quite astounding. Duplex communication is something hard to go without after getting used to the freedom it provides.”
Erebus is now essentially operating with Formula 1-level radio communications within their garage. The Bolero belt pack system is at the forefront of technology for wireless intercom systems, and the crew and team understand that to operate at the sport’s pinnacle, the equipment used must also be at its field’s pinnacle. This includes the companies providing the equipment.
Tom Moore concluded, “While the equipment solutions provided by D2N are perfectly fit for purpose, without their support packages, we wouldn’t be able to use the equipment to its full potential. D2N is more than accommodating in helping expand our solution whenever required. They go above and beyond to ensure we get the most from our communication equipment, offering advice on all communication-related matters and always eager to help us win races.”