Van Gisbergen to make WRC debut

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 15/06/2022
  • By James Pavey

Shane van Gisbergen will make his FIA World Rally Championship debut on home soil.

The Supercars series leader will line up for his first WRC start at Repco Rally New Zealand.

The rally is scheduled for September 29-October 2, and will be the first NZ WRC event since 2011.

Van Gisbergen will form part of the WRC2 field.

He will drive the the same Skoda Fabia R5 he steered to a debut Australian Rally Championship podium.

At the time, the podium whetted his appetite for more rallying.

“I love this sport, I really want to do more,” he said.

Van Gisbergen on the Rally Australia podium in April

“It’s a big challenge, a big mental game.

“You’ve got no references, no one to tell you to go faster. You’re on your own out there wth your co-driver.

“You’ve got to trust your notes, you’re trusting each other a lot. It’s very different."

Fast forward to September, and he will be a rally driver on the world stage, all on home soil.

The Skoda will again be prepared by Perth-based outfit Race Torque, with Glen Weston returning as co-driver.

Van Gisbergen will be joined in the WRC2 field by fellow New Zealander Hayden Paddon.

The experienced Paddon notably won the 2016 Rally Argentina.

Van Gisbergen’s rally experience in New Zealand, while small, is successful.

He won the inaugural Jack’s Ridge event in 2020; that was his New Zealand rally debut.

Van Gisbergen's extra-curricular motorsport activities go beyond rallying.

In May, the Kiwi raced a Triple Eight-run Mercedes-AMG to a LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour podium.

Last weekend, he made a long-awaited 24 Hours of Le Mans debut, and finished fifth in class.

Early last year, he famously won the New Zealand Grand Prix at Hampton Downs.

Van Gisbergen will carry a 281-point lead to this weekend's Supercars round in Darwin.

Purchase your Merlin Darwin Triple Crown tickets now.

Stay In The Know
Sign up to the Repco Supercars Championship Newsletter