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Australia

Van Gisbergen keen for more rallies after WRC2 podium

Shane van Gisbergen is keen to do more rallying but isn’t planning a career change following a remarkable run to a class podium on his World Rally Championship debut at Rally New Zealand.

Shane Van Gisbergen, Glen Weston, Skoda Fabia Evo Rally2

Shane Van Gisbergen, Glen Weston, Skoda Fabia Evo Rally2

Red Bull Content Pool

The two-time Supercars champion joined the second tier WRC2 class for the 11th round of the WRC season, for what was only the fifth event of a part-time foray into rallying.

The 33-year-old, partnered by experienced co-driver Glen Weston, turned heads on debut by completing the four days of competition, held in treacherous wet conditions, third in class and ninth overall.

Van Gisbergen had been locked in a battle for second with WRC2 championship contender Kajetan Kajetanowicz, before a front right puncture sustained on his Skoda Fabia on Saturday dropped the New Zealander back to a lonely third.

Van Gisbergen did however manage to hold onto third, finishing ahead of reigning Australian rally champion Harry Bates, who was also making his debut in the class.

“We have had a ball, I’ve been learning a lot and of course all the different conditions here, new roads, it has been awesome,” said van Gisbergen, who also competed in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

“I love rally, it is a good break from the intense circuit racing I guess and hopefully I can do more.”

Van Gisbergen thoroughly enjoyed his WRC debut and is keen to expand his horizons in rally, but doesn’t have any plans to make a permanent switch from circuit racing.

“I would love to do more,” he added." I love what I do as a job in Supercars but if I can keep doing this stuff outside of it, then I would love to have a go. I love the roads in New Zealand and I would like to do more here.

Asked if he would keen to test himself at WRC level on a more regular basis, he added: “I don’t know, it is pretty hard to get overseas and stuff.

“I love the New Zealand roads and I don’t think it is going to be a profession for me. I just want to do it for fun. I should never say never but I’m having fun what we are doing.”

Shane Van Gisbergen, Skoda Fabia Evo Rally2

Shane Van Gisbergen, Skoda Fabia Evo Rally2

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

The rally arrived a little more than a week before Supercars’ showpiece Bathurst 1000 but Triple Eight elected to give permission to Van Gisbergen to compete, knowing his love for rallying.

Van Gisbergen admitted he wad “a little tired” at the end fo the rally but believes the event has acted as a good way to prepare for the Great Race.

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“It is not hard work, it is just fun," he said. "There is a lot of preparation and effort and I’m tired now, but it is a good relaxer for me ahead of next weekend is the way I think,” he added. “It helps me keep my brain active and alive I guess.”

The 2020 Bathurst 1000 winner will begin his Mount Panorama campaign alongside Garth Tander on Thursday.

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