Shane van Gisbergen
Shane van Gisbergen is a racing driver from New Zealand who most recently won the Australian Supercars Championship in 2016, driving a Holden for Red Bull/Triple Eight Race Engineering. Van Gisbergen made Supercars debut in 2007, driving for four teams since then. Besides winning the championship in 2016, he was a runner-up three times, in 2014, 2018, and 2019.
Outside Supercars Championship, he gained some success in GT racing. In 2016, he was a champion in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, driving a McLaren 650S GT3 for Garage 59. With the same team, he scored an overall victory at 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour race.
Early years in New Zealand
Shane van Gisbergen was born in 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.
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.
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.
Maiden Supercars win in New Zealand's round
Progress continued in 2011 when he finally won the V8 Supercars race. Van Gisbergen triumphed at New Zealand's Supercars round at Hamilton Street circuit and then 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.
Joining Tekno Autosports in 2013, finishing second in 2014
For the 2013 Supercars season, Shane joined Tekno Motorsports to drive the #97 Holden VF Commodore. He scored only one victory at Adelaide and finished fifth in the final standings. He improved in 2014, scoring five wins to finish as the championship runner-up, behind Jamie Whincup.
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, finishing fourth in the points. 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.
Supercars champion in the first season with Red Bull/Triple Eight
Next step in his career led him to Triple Eight Race Engineering/Red Bull 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.
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.
Succcessful season in GT racing
The season 2016 turned to be extra successful for Shane in GT racing also. He recorded first attempts with McLaren in 2014 but the greatest success came in 2016. In February, he won Bathurst 12 Hour together with Alvaro Parente and Jonathnon Webb in Tekno Autosports' McLaren 650S GT3.
During the season, he raced with Garage 59 team in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. Sharing a McLaren 650S GT3 with Come Ledogar and Rob Bell, he scored two wins at Monza and Circuit Paul Ricard and won the title.
Fighting for the title until the last race in 2018
In 2017, Shane continued to race with Red Bull Holden, scoring five wins to finish fourth in the championship. His teammate Jamie Whincup won his seventh Supercars title. Outside Supercars championship, he participated in three races of the IMSA Sportscar Championship with Riley Motorsports' Mercedes. He also raced with Mercedes at Bathurst 12 Hour, not finishing the race.
In 2018, he started a season recording a DNF at Bathurst 12 Hour, at the wheel of McLaren. In the Supercars Championship, he opened a season with two wins in the season-opening event at Adelaide street circuit. Later he added five more wins, fighting for the championship title until the last race against Scott McLaughlin. In the end, Van Gisbergen was second in the points.
In 2019, Shane was a runner-up again in the Supercars Championship but, this time, he was far behind back-to-back champion Scott McLaughlin. Van Gisbergen scored five wins over the season. At Bathurst 1000, he finished second.