‘Absolute beasts’: Supercars champ and sprintcar fan Shane van Gisbergen fizzing for Baypark challenge
, 2022-12-08 00:00:00,
Kiwi Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen has always been a fan of 900 horsepower sprintcars from a distance but on Saturday night he will contest a championship in one for the first time.
Just seven days on from being crowned Supercars champion, in Adelaide, van Gisbergen will be racing on the dirt at Mount Maunganui’s Baypark Speedway where a prestigious championship will be up for grabs.
Speedway New Zealand has granted van Gisbergen a dispensation to be eligible for the North Island championships, going up against 34 other drivers who are some of the fastest in the country.
Two-time national sprintcar champion and Baypark Speedway stalwart Rodney Wood has told Stuff the addition of van Gisbergen is a huge coup for the sport with the excitement spread across drivers and fans.
“He’s got a huge public following so to have someone of that calibre racing and bringing some of his following to Baypark Speedway is huge,” Wood said.
“Everybody wants to see how he measures up.”
Wood, a speedway legend in this country who won the New Zealand streetstock title way back in 1992 and twice stood on the podium at the national superstock championships, has seen a lot in his 35-year career but never thought he’d race against a current Supercars champion.
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