GT

Van Gisbergen eyeing European return

The Kiwi has enjoyed success in Europe in the past, particularly during his time as a factory McLaren GT driver.

He won the 2016 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with Rob Bell and Come Ledogar for Garage 59, thanks to race victories at Monza and Paul Ricard.

That same season he finished third in the Intercontinental GT Challenge after winning the Bathurst 12 Hour with Alvaro Parente and Jono Webb.

He now has a link to Mercedes through Triple Eight’s GT World Challenge Australia programme, but has been unable to travel overseas to race due to the border controls in Australia and New Zealand.

Once borders properly open, however, van Gisbergen is keen to reacquaint himself with the European racing scene.

He is particularly keen on opportunities in the World Endurance Championship when it switches from GTE to GT3 regulations in 2024.

Autosport 2021 Top 50: #16 Shane van Gisbergen

“I’d love to get back to Europe,” he told This Week with Will Buxton.

“In another [two years] the World Endurance Championship goes to GT3. I’d love to come and do that.

Van Gisbergen, Bell and Ledogar won the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup in 2016, and the Kiwi is itching for a return to Europe

Van Gisbergen, Bell and Ledogar won the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup in 2016, and the Kiwi is itching for a return to Europe

Photo by: Vision Sport Agency

“I’ll keep racing Supercars full-time, I love the series. But I really miss the European style of racing; super intense but a lot of fun as well.”

PLUS: Ranking the top 10 Supercars drivers of 2021

Van Gisbergen also hasn’t given up on his dream of racing at Le Mans, which almost became a reality in 2020 when he signed to drive an LMP2 prototype for Eurasia Motorsport.

That was ultimately scuppered by the pandemic.

“I got close in a P2 car last year, but obviously COVID made that quite difficult [to travel],” he said.

“Hopefully next year or the year after in GT3 I’ll try and get a seat. It’s at the top of every driver’s list, so it’s hard to get into something there.”

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