Van Gisbergen to drive McLaren in Highlands 501
Shane van Gisbergen will race one of Tony Quinn’s McLarens in next month’s Highlands 501.
Van Gisbergen, Mike Whiddett, and Andrew Waite will join Quinn for the final round of the Australian Endurance Championship, spread across two McLaren 650Ss.
The final driver combinations will be decided by a vote on the Highlands Motorsport Park Facebook page.
Van Gisbergen won the Highlands 101 in 2015 with Tony Quinn’s son Klark, an achievement which he celebrated with a burnout.
“I’d never done a skid in a GT car before and it was a pretty cool way to celebrate,” said van Gisbergen.
“Hopefully I get the chance to do it again but I’m just stoked Tony has invited me to race in the McLaren.
“It’s the last Australian GT race at Highlands and I really wanted to be there. I love the race, I love the format and it’s one of my favourite tracks in the world.”
‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett made his circuit racing debut in last year’s Hampton Downs Australian Endurance Championship race, finishing a creditable eighth with Klark Quinn.
The drifting star also raced in the finale at Highlands, and again this year in the Phillip Island 500, and is relishing the prospect of another start at the Otago circuit.
“It’s a dream come true to get back to Highlands and have another crack in a GT car,” said Whiddett.
“I love GT racing. It’s so different to drifting where three judges decide if you win or lose.
“In the GTs if you’re fast, you’ve got the lap times to prove it. If you’re not, you’re out the back.”
Waite currently serves as one of the circuit’s professional drivers, but has also won races this year in the new FRD LMP3 Series.
Driver pairings will be determined by a public vote online.
“I can’t decide which drivers to put in which car so we’ve decided to open it up to the public,” said Quinn.
“Let us know which drivers you’d like to see racing together by visiting the Highlands Facebook page.”
Voters will go into the draw to win hot laps in a Ferrari 488 GTB with the four drivers during the event, as well as free entry.
The Australian Endurance Championship resumes with Round 3, the Hampton Downs 500, on October 27-29 before wrapping up at Highlands on November 10-12.