Van Gisbergen surprised and honoured with seeding
Supercars ace Shane van Gisbergen is surprised and honoured to be seeded second for this weekend’s second round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship at Whangarei.
The three-time Supercars champion will make his NZRC season debut up north this weekend and feels no pressure despite being seeded second to WRC star Hayden Paddon.
“It is a compliment to be seeded second but it is a bit higher than I thought I should be,” Van Gisbergen said.
“This is the first of four rounds for us this year and the roads look awesome.
“We obviously want to be competitive, but we need to get to the end of the rally.
“Realistically I don’t think we will be pushing for fastest stage times or anything. Having Hayden competing is the perfect comparison to measure ourselves against.
“Certainly not aiming for his times as he is a full WRC-level driver but just seeing how far away from him we are will be good.
“As I get more familiar with the car and get more miles under my belt, we can push a bit harder.”
Van Gisbergen made a big splash when he turned his hand to rallying as a side venture from his Supercars competition and fans will be eager to see how he performs with a slightly bigger campaign this year.
After winning the Battle of Jacks Ridge in 2020 he again impressed with cameo drives last season, including a stellar performance where he finished third in WRC2 at Rally New Zealand.
“Getting to do rallying was a dream come true and it was amazing to be able to do Rally New Zealand,” he said.
“It is something that I do for fun, as a hobby away from my fulltime racing, but we obviously want to push ourselves to get better as well.”
The International Rally of Whangarei begins with a ceremonial start in downtown Whangarei on Friday night before two days of action north (Saturday) and south (Sunday) of the city.