Van Gisbergen gets NZGP reprieve as QLD border opens

Shane van Gisbergen will contest the 66th New Zealand Grand Prix

Plans for Shane van Gisbergen to contest the New Zealand Grand Prix can go ahead with confirmation Queensland will open its border to New Zealand.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today confirmed travel from New Zealand can take place as of 0100 AEST, December 12.

The Sunshine State follows New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and the Northern Territory in allowing travellers from New Zealand in without the need to quarantine.

While the aforementioned states are allowing those from New Zealand in, as it stands, New Zealand’s borders are still closed to international travellers.

International arrivals are currently required to complete 14 days of managed isolation in a hotel or designated facility.

The announcement is a reprieve for van Gisbergen, who entered the grand prix on the basis he could return to Queensland in the days following the race.

The Triple Eight Race Engineering driver will return to Queensland soon after the grand prix for the Red Bull Ampol Racing season launch.

“I was advised late last night by Dr Jeannette Young, our Chief Health Officer, that New Zealanders are welcome to come,” said Palaszczuk.

“That’s excellent news especially in the lead-up to Christmas and the holidays.

“So fingers crossed that we’ll see more New Zealanders coming across.”

Next year’s New Zealand Grand Prix will take place at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park on January 22-24.

It will mark the first time the event has been held at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park and the first time the Castrol Toyota Racing Series competes on the 10-turn International Circuit having only previously used the six-turn National Circuit.

Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand has so far announced two drivers alongside van Gisbergen for the 2021 season opener.

Ken Smith will make his 50th start in the New Zealand Grand Prix at the age of 79.

Recently announced Porsche Carrera Cup Australia debutant Matthew Payne will also make his Toyota Racing Series debut at the New Zealand Grand Prix.

Dubbed the Race of Champions, it is expected the grand prix will attract entries from former Toyota Racing Series winners and other high profile drivers.

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