SVG set to race Brabham at Highlands 6 Hour

| Photographer Credit: Terry Marshall

Kiwi motorsport legend Shane van Gisbergen is the first big name confirmed for November’s Highlands 6 Hour Endurance race.

The reigning Supercars champion, who is heading to the USA next year after successfully sampling NASCAR by winning on debut, revealed in a social media post that he will be drive the Carters Brabham BT62 at the 10th Anniversary event at the Cromwell track. He will team up with regular driver Dwayne Carter.

“We’re delighted to confirm that,” said circuit and event CEO Josie Spillane. “Shane has been a massive supporter and competitor at our Highlands events since we opened in 2013. We are delighted to have him back racing at Highlands and for our first ever 6 Hour Endurance Race.”

Van Gisbergen is a family friend of the Carters and he and Dwayne have raced and won together before in the team’s cars and raced together last weekend at the first round of the South island Endurance Championship at Ruapuna.

Shane van Gisbergen

“I’m excited to get to race at Highlands this year, it’s one of my favourite tracks in the world,” he said. “To get to do it in the Brabham is very cool as well, big thanks to Dwayne, Garry and the team for this opportunity. I was part of the first big event at Highlands and I’m really looking forward to being part of their 10th Anniversary and hopefully having a lot of fun at one of the best race tracks in the world.”

Car owner Garry Carter says it’s an exciting combination of car and driver and the family run team is looking forward to being a big part of the anniversary weekend at Highlands, confident it can put a challenging weekend at Christchurch behind it.

“The weekend didn’t go how we wanted it to, but we have engineers coming down from Australia to ensure the car will be fully reliable by the time the event in November comes around.

“Our main focus always was and remains the Highlands event. We are excited to have Shane in the team and we are intending on putting our best foot forward and have a great weekend of racing. We’re all very excited and looking forward to the weekend immensely.”

Van Gisbergen is considered one of the best racing drivers in the world currently, capturing attention in the motorsport world not only for his speed but also his incredible versatility, which harks back to Kiwi drivers from other eras who regularly showed their skills in multiple motorsport championships and contrasting events.

Shane has, of course, raced successfully in Supercars and in GT, won the New Zealand Grand Prix in a one-off single seater appearance back in 2021 and won on debut in NASCAR. He’s also won in rallying and competed in Sprint Cars in recent times too.

“The fans love that versatility and his obvious immense talent behind the wheel and I’m sure there will be plenty of fans coming to watch Shane in action, I’ve no doubt confirmation of his entry has just raised already high anticipation of the event, as we countdown to November 5th,” added Spillane.

“It’s going to be one of the last chances to see him race this type of car in New Zealand for a while and seeing him hustle the Brabham around Highlands is going to be pretty special.

“Shane’s got a great relationship with a lot of our team who are also entered, such as Dan Gaunt, Andrew Waite, Damon Leitch, TQ and Paul Blomqvist, so almost just as entertaining will be the battle within the team and there’s plenty of banter taking place already. The camaraderie in the paddock over this weekend will be pretty special and it’s fantastic that at Highlands our fans can get up close to it.”

An invitation field of up to 32 GT3, GT4 and Open Class cars will compete in what will be one of the toughest endurance races ever in New Zealand. Each car is permitted to have either two or three drivers but must be a combination of professional and amateur racing drivers. It will be the biggest and longest endurance event for GT type cars ever held at the circuit or in New Zealand.

The event will also employ a Balance of Performance mechanism based on that used globally for GT3 racing but will be adjusted to take account of the wider range of high performance racing cars that will compete.

As an entry from the exciting Open Class, the Brabham will be subject to those Balance Of Performance criteria to ensure its overall performance is in line with other cars in the race and that success will be down to strategy and driving skill.

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