New Zealand racing driver Shane Van Gisbergen confirmed yesterday that he will be entering the Repco Rally New Zealand on September 29 to October 2.
The two-time Supercars champion, current Supercars championship leader and 2020 Bathurst winner is no stranger to taking on different disciplines of motorsport having recently scored a top five in class finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Van Gisbergen is also familiar with rallying after competing in the Battle of Jack’s Ridge rally sprint last year.
With tickets going on sale today, Repco Rally New Zealand is set to be a spectacle amongst spectators as it features some of the best drivers in the world including Hayden Paddon and Van Gisbergen, both participating in the WRC2 category.
Van Gisbergen said his childhood memories of Rally New Zealand inspired him to join this year’s rally saying, “I’ve been around it a long time and going to all the rallies when I was young watching Rally New Zealand. It has 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 90s and it was at night. I remember being on dad’s shoulders watching the cars go through there.”
Van Gisbergen said his father competed and with the advantage of local knowledge, especially in the regularly wet conditions, he was faster than the WRC cars – until they struck a dry year with his luck also drying up. “For me it’s cool that I will be on the other side of the fence.”
He will be supported by Perth-based Race Torque, run by two expat New Zealanders with plenty of experience in rallying, along with his co-driver, former Australian champion Brisbane based Glen Weston.
The kiwi driver took part in the opening round of the Australian Rally Championship earlier this year in Canberra which rekindled his interest for rallying.
“I need to get used to pace notes, how to read the New Zealand roads and just get better. Pace notes are where most of the speed is for me.” said Van Gisbergen.
“I do not have any expectations for results. For me just competing in the event is going to be epic, to see the stages packed with fans, and having the service park on the Auckland waterfront, it is just going to be an awesome event.”
“I am looking forward to being part of it. I just want to do a good job and keep it straight, be there at the end and be part of this incredible event.”
Ticket pricing for spectator zones starts at $35 per day for multi-stage access on the Friday and Saturday with stages spanning the Waikato and Auckland regions. The final day of the rally takes place at Jack’s Ridge in Whitford with tickets starting from $59 which includes event entry and parking adjacent to the venue.
Tickets can be purchased here.