December 10, 2023

Van Gisbergen opens up on US future after Supercars


The future of the three-time Supercars champion has been the subject of significant speculation recently.

Earlier this year he inked what was billed as a multi-year contract extension with his Triple Eight team, only for the driver himself to clarify that it was actually just a single-year deal that covered 2024.

Even his continuation next year has been the subject of speculation given his very obvious dislike of the new Gen3 cars.

The Kiwi is in the US this week for his NASCAR debut in Chicago as part of the Trackhouse Project91 programme.

Since arriving Stateside he has flagged his interest in doing an oval race in NASCAR at some point and has now squarely admitted that a full-time move is not out of the question.

According to van Gisbergen, the appeal comes from both the latest-get NASCAR hardware, and the sheer number of races on the schedule compared to the lean 12-round Supercars calendar.

“I guess Supercars isn’t that fun at the moment,” he told Australian media on Friday morning.

“[I’m] not really enjoying it as much and starting to think about other things and look around.

“But my motivation for Supercars is high. Like, I’m still trying hard and pushing as hard as I can. It’s complicated. Now I’ve started watching NASCAR more again this year that the [Trackhouse] opportunity has come up and it’s appealing.

Shane van Gisbergen at Trackhouse

“Like, you see so many more road courses. The cars are so similar now, two seasons ago the cars were so foreign. You couldn’t jump in them straight away. You’d have to have done a couple of years of trucks or Xfinity – like Marcus (Ambrose) did up the ladder.

“These cars are much more relevant for any driver through the world.

“It looks appealing. They’re doing more road courses, more variation, and seeing this week the routine; like you go to a race, you have a day off, then you spend the week debriefing and then focus on the next race and go travelling and do it all again.

“The routine of racing and every weekend is, it’s pretty appealing. It’s mid-year now, past mid-year, and we’ve only done five races in Supercars. So that’s the appeal for me just to go try it out and race every week.”

Van Gisbergen said he isn’t currently in active talks about a full-time move and reiterated that he will see out his contract with Triple Eight next year.

“Just open eyes and ears this week, just try and take it all in and enjoy myself really,” he explained.

“I’ve got no pressure on myself for results and I know that my preparation is good and if I have fun maybe it’s something I will look at.

“I’m fully focused on Supercars for this year and next, for sure. Maybe if something comes up [in 2025], I’ll definitely entertain it.”

His interest is limited to NASCAR, though, with joining fierce Kiwi rival Scott McLaughlin IndyCar not something he’s open to on a full-time basis.

Read Also:Van Gisbergen wants NASCAR oval shotNASCAR Chicago race will be everything from “insane” to “brilliant”

“The oval stuff doesn’t really excite me much in those cars, not like NASCAR does,” he said.

“NASCAR looks really appealing and something I’d sort of jump at. Whereas IndyCar you’d have to think about.

“It’s a massive, massive change in career driving style. For me, I’d have to break with the other foot. It’s huge, huge departure from what I do now.

“The NASCAR stuff is a massive change, but not as big.”

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