Van Gisbergen's rally hopes delayed

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 04/06/2021
  • By Charlie Bullis

Shane van Gisbergen might have to wait a bit longer to have his first stint in a rally car this year, due to a potential schedule clash with the proposed date for the postponed Winton SuperSprint.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver previously revealed he was planning to travel to New Zealand for a rally next month, but those plans have been benched due to Winton being rescheduled to 31 July - 1 August.

WATCH: HOT TOPICS: DRIVERS' MID-YEAR DEBRIEF

Speaking to Supercars.com in an all-in driver chat from the Gold Coast, van Gisbergen admitted there are a few hurdles delaying his rally hopes.

“It is partly money,” van Gisbergen said.

“Over here in Australia I don’t have as many contacts as what I do in New Zealand.

“In New Zealand, there are a lot of events I can do, but my rule from RD [Roland Dane, Managing Director and Team Principal] is I have to have a two-week window afterward to be able to get back to Australia just in case quarantine gets backdated.

“There was going to be one but now that’s the new Winton date, so I don’t know when I will be doing something.”

Van Gisbergen with the AGI Sport Ford Fiesta R5

The 2016 Supercars champion announced he was keen on a possible start in this year’s RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship back in May and has since attended a round in Gympie as a spectator.

The 32-year-old made his competitive rally debut late last year when he took victory in the Battle of Jacks Ridge and backed that up with a class win in the City of Auckland Rally.

“I just love the rally stuff,” he told Chad Neylon.

“I’ve been around it since I was growing up and I would love to do more of it.

“The top rally guys are the best of the best.”

Van Gisbergen leads the 2021 championship by 190 points

Last week it was announced Red Bull Ampol Racing team manager Mark Dutton will be two-time Dakar Rally winner Toby Price's head navigator in this year’s Tatts Finke Desert Race.

Price, a six-time Finke winner on a motorcycle, will drive a world-first Mitsubishi Triton Trophy Truck with their campaign commencing on June 12.

When asked about his team manager's upcoming change of role, the New Zealander joked: “He’s just dead weight.

“Dutto doesn’t need to navigate, Toby knows that track so well.

“Looking at the truck and the program that they have put together, man it's awesome, Toby’s truck is super cool.

“Dutto’s got a pretty good job, but I wouldn’t want to be sitting next to Toby, he’s crazy.”

Dutton and Price will begin their Finke campaign on June 12.

Van Gisbergen and the Repco Supercars Championship field will return to the Northern Territory for the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown across June 18-20. Tickets are available here.

The event will be broadcast live on Foxtel and will be streamed on Kayo, and will be broadcast live and free on Seven.

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