ShanevanGisbergen was born on 9th of May, 1989 in Auckland, New Zealand. When he was only five years old, he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life so he asked his dad to buy him a Suzuki ATV. Motocross tracks and a quarter midget on speedway ovals were a perfect for motorsport beginners, and there he was formed as a racer.
Shane van Gisbergen
After winning New Zealand’s SpeedSport magazine Star of Tomorrow Scholarship programme, which gave him the opportunity to spend a year in Formula First championship, he signed the first contract at 17 years of age, to race V8Supercars for top Ford team Stone Brothers Racing.
Early years in New Zealand
His talent and experience led him to a line of successes on his way to the Australasian major league. He competed in motocross, quarter midgets, and later karts from 1994 to 2004. In the 2004/2005 season, he won Rookie of the year award, after finishing third in the New Zealand Formula First Championship. He won his first New Zealand Formula Ford championship in 2006, and a year after he was second in Toyota Racing Series. His first long-term contract was signed in 2007, with Stone Brothers Racing – when he made a debut in the V8 Supercar championship, most popular racing series in Australia. His dream finally came true.
V8 Supercars beginnings
Van Gisbergen joined Team Kiwi Racing in a V8 Supercar in 2007 and he became the 200th driver to start a race at the Jim Beam 400 at Oran Park Raceway in Round 8. He finished his first race in 20th position, second in 13th, and third in 23rd. Because of his excellent driving, he was asked to join Stone Brothers Racing in 2008.
Shane van Gisbergen, Queensland Raceway, 2008
Van Gisbergen’s first year with a team (2008) was pretty good and he finished 15th overall. The following year, Shane slightly improved and finished 12th in the V8 Supercars championship. In 2010, a New Zealander made a bigger impact. He scored eight podium finishes, which brought him the sixth place in the Drivers’ championship.
First win in V8 Supercars and stepping into the top group
Progress continued in 2011 when he finally won the V8 Supercars race. Van Gisbergen triumphed at Hamilton Street race and at the Hidden Valley Raceway during the first half of the season. He couldn’t repeat the same success during the second half, but at the end, he was fourth overall announcing that he has plenty to offer in the future. The following year was his last with Stone Brothers Racing and again he did well, finishing sixth.
Shane van Gisbergen wins at Hidden Valley, 2011
Since 2013, Shane is a member of Tekno Motorsports and their Holden VF Commodore. He scored only one victory at Adelaide and finished fifth in the final standings. The season of 2014 was the best in van Gisbergen’s career so far as he became the series runner-up. Five wins, another eight podium finishes and 2781 points still weren’t enough to bring him a title because Jamie Whincup was much more convincing. In 2015, Shane was rightfully considered as one of the title contenders, but this time, he couldn’t parry to David Reynolds, Craig Lowndes and Mark Winterbottom who became a new champion.
Shane van Gisbergen, Bathurst 1000 (2013)
Move to Red Bull and 2016 V8 Supercars champion
The same year, he came back to his native land to co-drove BNT NZ Supertourers Hankook Super series championship with Simon Black as the primary driver. There he won 7 of the 9 races in total.
Next step in his career led him to Triple Eight Racing/RedBull team, where he stood side by side with some of the most successful drivers in the history of the series - Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes.
Shane with Jamie Whincup and the new VF CommodorePB
Finally, in 2016 van Gisbergen won the V8 Supercars title after a big battle with his teammate Whincup. Shane clinched the title in the penultimate race of the season and became the first New Zealander who became the series champion after 25 years! Van Gisbergen won eight races in 2016 and was in brilliant form in the second half of the campaign as he scored 10 consecutive podium finishes in the last 10 races.
Unlucky at Bathurst 1000
In 2009, at the Bathurst 1000, he was in the lead, until his car suddenly stopped on lap 108. Sadly, van Gisbergen lost a lot of positions in the race. Almost the same situation happened in the 2014 edition, where his engine failed, with ten laps to go. It cost him a victory.
Van Gisbergen is successful in GT racing
Alongside with his V8 Supercars commitments, he was involved in GT racing through his connections with Tekno Autosports sponsor Tony Quinn. His first foray was a guest co-driver in Quinn’s team in the 2013 Australian GT Championship. Then in 2014, he entered two endurance races - 24 Hours of Daytona and, for the first time, entered the Bathurst 12 Hour, in partnership with Tony Quinn, but this time in McLaren.
Shane van Gisbergen
At Daytona, with Alex Job Racing, Kiwi driver finished 26th overall and 6th in the GTD class and returned to Daytona in 2015 and 2016 with the same team. Although the Alex Job Racing team was dissolved after the 2015 season, van Gisbergen moved to McLaren’s new Garage 59 Team.
That moved proved to be perfect as he became the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup champion in 2016, alongside his co-drivers Come Ledogar and Rob Bell. They won the races at Monza and Circuit Paul Ricard and with a bit of luck later in the season, were crowned as the champions.
Video - Shane van Gisbergen breaks Mount Panorama lap record
Bathurst 12 Hours win is one the best achievements
Thanks to his connections with McLaren and Tekno Autosports, he drove one of Tekno’s factory-supported McLaren 650S GT3s at the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour. He set the fastest recorded laps of the Mount Panorama Circuit and achieved pole position and later scored a victory driving alongside Parente and Webb.