Van Gisbergen is set to become the next New Zealander to tackle the US racing scene with a full-time move from Supercars to NASCAR next year.
On Friday, he had his first race in the Truck Series on an oval track, where he finished in a respectable 19th position. Tomorrow, he will have his second start in the Cup Series on the Indianapolis road course, beginning from the eighth position on the starting grid.
He has effectively been sharing the track with fellow Kiwis Scott Dixon and Scott McLaughlin who have been in action in IndyCar this weekend.
Dixon expressed his admiration for van Gisbergen’s natural talent after emerging victorious in the IndyCar race.
He also disclosed that he has been attempting for a while to persuade van Gisbergen to try out IndyCar, and thinks it would be more suitable for someone with a strong background in road racing.
“He said he has been attempting for years to convince Shane to come and evaluate an IndyCar.”
“It simply didn’t go as planned. Even within the IMSA program, I believe he would have made a significant impact and been an excellent teammate.”
“I believe he has extensively discussed America. [IndyCar] is likely more within his area of expertise, particularly when it comes to road and street courses. Oval racing is undoubtedly at a higher level, even for individuals like me who would find it incredibly challenging to make that transition.”
“It’s impressive to witness his presence. He possesses immense talent, my friend. This individual is exceptionally skilled, even in the realm of indoor go-karting. I have accompanied him numerous times, and his speed is truly remarkable.”
“It’s impressive to witness the achievements he attained. I was enthusiastically rooting for him during the Chicago race. Even in the Trucks event last night, he performed admirably considering it was his first time racing on an oval track. Today, he managed to qualify in eighth place amidst a highly competitive field.”
Hopefully, he has a promising future.
Van Gisbergen has enjoyed success in open-wheelers before, having been a winner in Formula Ford and Toyota Racing Series in his junior career.
In 2021, he made a comeback to TRS for the New Zealand Grand Prix and emerged victorious, even though he began the race from the pitlane.
Charles Bradley also contributed to the reporting.