Van Gisbergen unwilling to fully commit to Supercars until experiencing Gen3
Sunday 30th October, 2022 - 9:11am
Champion-elect Shane van Gisbergen is unwilling to commit to Supercars long-term until he experiences competition in the Gen3 era.
The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver moved to a 606-point lead when he won Race 31 at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500, with only 450 points on offer for the balance of the season.
As such, he is the champion, unofficially for now, for the second straight season and third time of his career.
However, whether he adds too many more to that tally will depend in no small part on Supercars’ next breed of car, which debuts in competition in 2023.
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“[My future] depends on Gen3, probably,” said van Gisbergen.
“I would like to stay here.
“If I stay in Supercars, I’ll definitely stay with Triple Eight. I love the team, and we have started talking about a new deal.
“But maybe I’d like to start next year and see what the racing is like.
“The [Gen3] car has potential, but you know, I’d like to race people as well.
“The race [today] was probably pretty stale. When you follow someone, you can hardly follow with the aero stuff.
“Let’s see. Hopefully next year it’s a better race car. I’d love to stay in Supercars, it’s close to home.”
Triple Eight Race Engineering often quietly renews its driver contracts, without public announcements, and the term of the 33-year-old’s current deal is unknown but thought likely to run out at the end of 2023.
That would mean as little as a year, or less, to get an understanding of what Gen3 has to offer before potentially going to race somewhere else.
Notably, van Gisbergen made his World Rally Championship debut, in the WRC2 class, earlier this month, and has spoken of interest in a NASCAR cameo next year.
He has won a title in GT World Challenge in Europe back in 2016, and competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Asian Le Mans Series.
The New Zealander has also been vocal about making the racing in Supercars better, and was the first to stick his head up in the ultimately successful campaign to prevent the introduction of paddle shift in Gen3.
As to other Gen3 desires, van Gisbergen said, “I just want it to be fun, and a good car to drive.
“At the start of the year they let us drive [the prototype] a bit but then I haven’t driven it since [Symmons Plains] for some reason. They are giving it to other people.
“I just hope it is a good race car, a fun race car, for everyone. And we still have some room to develop it and change it around.
“We don’t want it to be like Porsche [Carrera] Cup where they are all the same speed and boring racing. It sounds very stock at the moment.
“Maybe we’ll have a lot of things we can change on the car. At the moment you can see a Walkinshaw car, you can see a Grove car, a DJR car. You can see the differences when you’re driving.
“I just hope that we’re not locked in next year and everyone is the same and it makes the racing stale.
“Everything they say about it is good, they are talking it up, all the engineers. And I trust them. But we’ll see at the first race what it is really like.”