Autosport (UK)



Shane van Gisbergen has been the dominant force in Australia’s Supercars series since Scott Mclaughlin departed for Indycar at the end of the 2020 season and, although dethroned last term by Brodie Kostecki (another driver showing keen interest in NASCAR), the Kiwi was still widely viewed as the man to beat.

His switch to NASCAR for the coming season came somewhat out of the blue after he initially signed a new multi-year contract extension with the Triple Eight Supercars squad in April, then announced his intention to move Stateside just three months later. While much was expected of him on his Cup debut on the Chicago streets, no one could have predicted the manner in which he would take to the category, storming to victory and showing the establishe­d order that he means business. Much like many of three-time Supercars champion Mclaughlin’s performanc­es in Indycar, this was a statement that served to highlight the talent that remains somewhat hidden in Australia’s premier series.

My excitement for van Gisbergen’s season is not one of anticipati­on for championsh­ip success – that would be a foolish expectatio­n of any rookie driver, no matter the racing CV they may boast – but comes from wanting to see how quickly he can adapt to the different circuit configurat­ions and a very different style of racing from what he is accustomed to. Van Gisbergen has a welcome habit of winning and is not afraid to rub panels on the track when needed – both are traits that will endear him to the American public.

 ?? ?? Van Gisbergen took a sensationa­l win on his NASCAR debut
Van Gisbergen took a sensationa­l win on his NASCAR debut
 ?? ?? Sam Hall
Sam Hall

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