Saturday, May 18, 2024

Van Gisbergen confirmed for Rally NZ

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Shane van Gisbergen won last year’s Battle of Jack’s Ridge rally sprint race last year and now he’s set to compete in this year’s Repco Rally New Zealand. Photo Geoff Ridder Photography

Kiwi motorsport ace Shane van Gisbergen has announced he’s set to compete in the 2022 Repco Rally New Zealand later this year.

The 33-year-old former pupil of Saint Kentigern College in Pakuranga is well known to motor racing fans in this country and overseas as a two-time V8 Supercars champion, the 2020 Bathurst winner, and a competitor at the world famous Le Mans 24 hour race in France.

He’s also the current leader in the ongoing V8 Supercars Championship series based in Australia.

Van Gisbergen is now eyeing success in Rally NZ set to be held in and around Auckland from September 29 to October 2.

The motorsport star showcased his high-speed talents locally when he won the sold-out inaugural Battle of Jack’s Ridge rally sprint race, held last year in Whitford.

He says he’s amped to compete in the New Zealand stage of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Rally NZ organisers say it will feature the best rally drivers on the globe including Kiwi Hayden Paddon, who’s set to compete alongside van Gisbergen in the WRC2 category.

The event’s final day will be held at the Jack’s Ridge venue in Whitford.

Van Gisbergen says it was childhood memories of Rally NZ that led to his involvement in the series.

“I’ve been around it a long time and going to all the rallies when I was young and watching Rally NZ.

“It’s always been a dream to do it but I’ve never really had the chance.

“My favourite memories were as a young kid.

“Before the Manukau Super Stage was built they had it up the road at Totara Park which was not far from where I grew up.

“It was in the early 1990s and it was at night.

“I remember being on dad’s shoulders watching the cars go through there.

“For me it’s cool that I will be on the other side of the fence.”

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