Van Gisbergen: ‘A lot of uncertainty’ at start of Gen3 Supercars era

Shane van Gisbergen with a Triple Eight Race Engineering Chevrolet Camaro in its 2023 Red Bull Ampol Racing event livery

Shane van Gisbergen with a Triple Eight Race Engineering Chevrolet Camaro in its 2023 Red Bull Ampol Racing event livery

Shane van Gisbergen has described the start of the Gen3 Supercars era as a time of “a lot of uncertainty”.

The Triple Eight Race Engineering driver has won two of the last three Repco Bathurst 1000s and the last two drivers’ championship titles, both of which he (unofficially) wrapped up with an event to spare.

Those achievements came in the twilight years of the Car of the Future era, with a brand-new technical ruleset applying from 2023, when everything except the transaxle has changed.

Furthermore, with a mad dash up and down the field to finish builds in time for pre-season testing, and ongoing parts shortages, it is expected that the race cars will be very raw at the start of the season, including, for example, lack of in-car anti-rollbar adjustment for the time being.

“There’s a lot going on but a lot of uncertainty still too with the cars and rules and all that stuff,” said van Gisbergen as part of the unveiling of Triple Eight’s new Red Bull Ampol Racing livery.

“So, I’m just focusing on my stuff and we’ll see; just take it as it comes.”

The New Zealander commented that the 2023 Triple Eight livery, which sees red replace the bulk of the white on the rear end of the cars in recent years, “looks tough”.

He is also expecting a “tough” season-opener in Newcastle.

“There’s a lot of anticipation for that,” van Gisbergen added.

“I don’t know what it’s going to be like – nobody does – and I guess that’s probably why it’s going to be exciting for people to watch.”

The three-time Supercars champion declined to speak to reporters about his driving experience when Triple Eight shook down its two Red Bull Ampol Chevrolet Camaros at Queensland Raceway earlier this month, although Team Manager Mark Dutton insisted he was happy.

While van Gisbergen is often economical with words, it was nevertheless notable behaviour given his revelation last October that he will not recommit to Supercars unless Gen3 leads to a genuine improvement in the sporting contest.

He also expressed frustration that he and other leading drivers had been kept out of the prototypes by Supercars at a crucial stage in the development of the ruleset, and informed commentary from the paddock claims that is his greater gripe.

Regardless, van Gisbergen is on the hunt for cameos in other categories, as he has undertaken during much of his Supercars career to date.

“It’s silly we’re not going back to New Zealand – that’s very disappointing – but I’ll do a lot of rally over there and hopefully some GT racing there too, and I’d love to go back to America and do some racing there, so I’m trying for that,” he noted.

The Supercars Championship’s official pre-season test takes place at Sydney Motorsport Park this Wednesday.

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