SVG would prefer Gen3 to be a challenge over winning

Shane van Gisbergen

Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen would prefer to be faced with a challenge in the new Gen3 era over winning straight away.

The Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang are set to debut in next year’s Repco Supercars Championship at the season-opening Newcastle 500 from March 10-12.

Among a number of factors, a 64% reduction in downforce compared to the outgoing cars is hoped to deliver closer racing.

Van Gisbergen stated in October that he is unwilling to sign a new contract to drive in the championship until he experiences a genuine improvement in the on-track action with Gen3.

That comes after a 2022 campaign where he claimed a new record for most race wins in a season, notching up 21 victories in 34 encounters.

Speaking on Speedcafe.com’s KTM Summer Grill, the episode having aired earlier this week, the New Zealander opened up further on the Gen3 topic.

“For me it’s not about winning though,” he said when host Greg Rust floated the idea of claiming titles in Gen2 and Gen3.

“I want [Gen3] to be awesome and even if I’m having good battles and not winning to start with I’ll love that, the challenge of getting better.

“I want it to be good for everyone.”

Triple Eight Race Engineering boss Jamie Whincup is confident the new cars will be good enough to convince his driver to recommit to racing in Supercars.

For van Gisbergen, it’s a wait-and-see situation.

Testing ahead of the 2023 season, which was originally slated for December, has been pushed back to late January.

“Time will tell,” he added.

“It’s not that I’m lacking enthusiasm; the challenge of a new car and making it go as fast as possible, that’s what I thrive off.

“It’s going to be awesome, but I just hope that the car is all they say it is.

“They’re speaking about how it’s good for racing and all this kind of stuff.

“They’re speaking a lot about it and I’ve tried to just separate from it — I really hope it’s a good thing, I really hope it’s awesome but we haven’t tested it yet.

“No one knows the answer and I can’t sell something I don’t know about yet.”

As for what he might do as an alternative to Supercars, van Gisbergen has all but ruled out driving in NASCAR on a full-time basis due to a lack of interest in ovals.

Fellow New Zealander Scott McLaughlin has previously stated that he would like to see van Gisbergen race in IndyCar more than any other driver not currently in that series.

CLICK HERE to watch the full KTM Summer Grill episode featuring van Gisbergen.

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