Van Gisbergen NASCAR start confirmed
Friday 19th May, 2023 - 9:02am
Shane van Gisbergen will contest the Chicago NASCAR street race with Trackhouse Racing, the team has confirmed.
The New Zealander will make his NASCAR debut as part of Trackhouse’s Project91 programme which has already seen Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion Kimi Raikkonen make two starts in the #91 Chevrolet Camaro.
The Chicago event, the category’s first ever on a street circuit, takes place on the weekend of Sunday, July 2, a week prior to the NTI Townsville 500.
“I can honestly say I have dreamed about an opportunity in NASCAR, but really never thought it would become a reality,” said van Gisbergen.
“I can’t wait to get to the States to meet everyone and prepare for Chicago.
“It’s NASCAR’s first time on the streets of Chicago so in some ways everyone will be a rookie like me, but I don’t underestimate that it’s going to be a huge challenge.”
Team owner/founder Justin Marks said, “We have been very pleased with the fan reaction to Kimi’s participation the last two seasons.
“I’ll concede the American racing fan might not be as familiar with Shane as they are with Kimi, but if you talk with anyone in Australia, New Zealand and that part of the world, they will tell you he is one of the most talented drivers on the planet.
“He’s used to street racing in heavy cars and I think everyone will be very impressed with his performance.”
Van Gisbergen’s #91 entry will be headed up by 2011 Cup Series-winning crew chief Darian Grubb.
The three-time Supercars champion will jet off to the United States in the days following the Hidden Valley event to take in the Nashville Superspeedway race and spend time in the Trackhouse workshop.
“There is so much I have to learn about these cars and how the races are run,” he added.
“The learning curve will be quite steep, but I am ready for everything they will throw at me. I know a lot of Kiwis and Aussies will be watching and I’m honoured to get this opportunity.”
Car #91 will sport primary backing from private health broker Enhance Health, and sponsorship also from one of van Gisbergen’s personal partners, the Melbourne-based Quad Lock phone mounting business.
“Quad Lock is thrilled to venture into the world of NASCAR, the pinnacle of US motorsport,” said Dominic Storey, Quad Lock Sponsorship Manager.
“As Quad Lock continues its growth in the US market, the collaboration with Trackhouse Racing and the inclusion of our brand ambassador, Shane van Gisbergen, presents a fantastic alignment for everyone involved.
“We eagerly anticipate achieving success both on and off the track in the coming future.”
Trackhouse Racing debuted in 2021 and expanded to a two-car operation in 2022 after purchasing the NASCAR assets of Chip Ganassi Racing.
It currently fields the #1 Chevrolet of Ross Chastain and #99 of Daniel Suarez on a full-time basis, with the former giving the squad its first two race wins last year before the latter opened his account later in the same season.
Van Gisbergen is a Triple Eight Race Engineering driver for at least this Supercars season and the next and has an out clause in his new contract should he land a seat in another category in 2025.
He will be on-track tomorrow in his Red Bull Ampol Racing Camaro at the Ned Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint, with Practice 1 for the Repco Supercars Championship field at Symmons Plains from 09:00 local time/AEST.Sign up here to receive our daily newsletters and breaking news alerts, sent straight to your inbox.
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