Van Gisbergen considering rally start
The Kiwi recently spent time looking over the AGI Sport Ford Fiesta campaigned by Luke Anear in the ARC, and will be on the ground for this weekend’s Rally Queensland in Gympie.
The Rally Queensland field will include the likes of Anear, factory-backed Toyota pair Harry and Lewis Bates and even Triple Eight majority shareholder Tony Quinn in an R5-spec Fiesta.
It’s all part of a fact-finding mission for van Gisbergen, as he contemplates an ARC start at some point later this year.
“[The ARC] is something I’ve followed snippets of the last few years, and now Tony Quinn, our team owner, is racing in it, so it’s cool to watch,” said van Gisbergen.
“Seeing [the ARC] grow and get bigger, and the drivers up the front, when you watch the onboards and the stage times, [you] see how quick those guys are and how hard they’re pushing… it’s pretty impressive that’s for sure.
“I’d love to have a go and have a play and maybe do something in the future. I would love to do something here [in Australia] and have some fun in a car.”
Van Gisbergen is no stranger to rallying, his father Robert having been a keen competitor in New Zealand back in 1980s and 1990s.
Van Gisbergen himself made some successful forays into the discipline late last year while in NZ, winning the classic class in the City of Auckland Rally in a Ford Escort RS1800.
A day later he won the Battle of Jacks Ridge in an AP4-spec Mitsubishi Mirage.
Motorsport Australia’s director of motorsport and commercial operations Michael Smith said he’d welcome the Bathurst 1000 winner to the ARC.
“To have a driver of Shane’s calibre trying to find an opportunity to compete in the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship is certainly an exciting prospect for fans and competitors alike,” he said.
“We’re quite hopeful we’ll see Shane at an ARC event later this year and I’m sure he will have the rally bug after attending the Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland in Gympie this weekend.”