Current Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen has confirmed his entry to the Daybreaker Rally, a 150km competition across roads in the Manawatu and Rangitikei districts, held from 22 to 23 September 2023.
The fourth and penultimate round of the New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) will be another new challenge for the 34-year-old. He will again use the same Audi S1 AP4 car used at the International Rally of Whangarei held in May.
“I’m looking forward to my next round of the NZRC. We had a tough time at Whangarei with some issues, but a lot of work has been done to make sure we are ready to go for the Daybreaker. We did a test event a couple of weeks ago and the car was feeling great,” says van Gisbergen.
The full-time Supercars driver regales at also contesting the return of an event that has been part of New Zealand’s rally competition heritage for more than 40 years.
“From history, the Daybreaker was always an awesome event and it’s great that it’s back on the calendar this year. I can’t wait,” he added.
Joined by 100 other teams in a variety of cars from international specification Rally 2 to classic era, the capacity field will start from Feilding on Friday evening 22 September.
Saturday’s competition is broken into nine special stages that tour the teams north to Taihape before returning in the afternoon.
The final test will be held at the Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon – a 10.77km configuration that uses the circuit extension. Teams will then celebrate at the ceremonial finish from 4 pm.
The field will be headed by those contesting the NZRC, which is a series currently led by six-time champion Hayden Paddon. Other entries include Palmerston North’s Brian Green who is the only competitor to have won on multiple occasions.
Previously, the event would start at midnight and become known as the title decider event for titans Possum Bourne, Neil Allport, and Joe McAndrew.
Van Gisbergen has been on a bit of a hot streak in multiple disciplines recently, after picking up a win in the NASCAR Cup Series during his first-ever outing in the category. This coming weekend, he’ll make his oval debut in the Truck Series before the Cup race in Indianapolis.