Van Gisbergen NASCAR debut confirmed

19 May
Supercars champion to make high-profile cameo
3 mins by James Pavey

Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen has been locked in to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut later this year.

Van Gisbergen’s NASCAR debut will come in NASCAR’s first race in Chicago, a week out from the NTI Townsville 500.

The three-time Supercars champion and two-time Bathurst 1000 winner will race on the streets of Chicago on July 2.

Van Gisbergen, 34, will race a Project91 Chevrolet Camaro run out of Justin Marks’ Trackhouse squad.

The Kiwi's #91 Camaro will be backed by Enhance Health and Quad Lock, and led by crew chief Darian Grubb, who won a Cup title with Tony Stewart in 2011.

Marks’ team debuted in 2021, and expanded to two cars in 2022, with Ross Chastain making the Championship 4.

The Project91 initiative is aimed at handing wildcard starts to notable international stars.

It has already attracted 2007 Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen, who raced at Watkins Glen last year and Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in March.

Van Gisbergen's #91 Camaro

Van Gisbergen has long been linked to a Project91 cameo, having revealed talks with Marks late last year.

Ahead of this weekend’s NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint, it has been confirmed that van Gisbergen will tackle the United States’ leading stock car series.

Supercars and NASCAR ties run deep, most recently with two-time Supercars champion Marcos Ambrose racing Stateside between 2006 and 2014.

It comes after three-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin joined IndyCar in 2021.

In March, Marks said a deal had been done, but stopped short of who the driver was.

"It's gonna be somebody that has got very, very different experience from NASCAR but in some ways is actually perfectly suited for a Cup race,” Marks said.

That has now proven to be van Gisbergen, who is champing at the bit to return to North America to race.

“It’s one of the biggest motor racing series in the world,” van Gisbergen said.

'To get an opportunity to be part of it... it’s unbelievable'


“To get an opportunity to be part of it, and jump straight into the top level in America, it’s unbelievable.

“It’s cool what they did with Kimi at Watkins Glen for the first time, then COTA this year.

“Getting people from all around the world to come and try NASCAR, it’s really cool.

“My family’s pretty excited, my father’s going to go over and watch.”

The Cup Camaro is vastly different to van Gisbergen’s Red Bull Ampol Supercar, with NASCAR races also a different beast.

Van Gisbergen said he has already leaned on Ambrose — who won races in the Cup and Xfinity Series — to get a head start ahead of his debut.

“Marcos was one of the first guys I rang for advice,” van Gisbergen said.

“He helped me out a lot, just gave me a lot of basic pointers, and how to approach the weekend.

Raikkonen at COTA in March

“You come in through the window, you don’t open the door.

“Obviously you’re on the left-hand side of the car as well, but I’m used to that with rally and GT cars.

“It looks like a completely different way of racing — yellows, green-white-checkers, the way they run the pit stops.

“It’s really different to anything I’ve done before, I really have to study, and make sure I’m sharp when the time comes.”

Van Gisbergen will head Stateside to Nashville after the Betr Darwin Triple Crown before racing in Chicago.

The 78-time Supercars race winner is third in the standings heading to this weekend’s NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint.

Supercars will hit the track for the first time on Saturday for Practice 1 at 9:00am local time.

Tickets for the event are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.

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