Celebrated New Zealand driver, Shane van Gisbergen, current leader in the Supercars Championship, has confirmed he will start in the Repco Rally New Zealand on 29 September to 2 October in and around Auckland.
The 33-year-old, two-time Supercars champion and 2020 Bathurst winner, has tried his hand successfully at a range of motorsports, including winning the Battle of Jack’s Ridge rally sprint last year, and finishing top-five in his class at his first attempt at the famed Le Mans 24 Hour Race at the weekend.
He is amped to be part the FIA World Rally Championship event with tickets going on sale today for Repco Rally New Zealand which will feature the best rally drivers on the globe including New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon and van Gisbergen, who will both race in the WRC2 category.
Tickets for spectator zones throughout the rally are now on sale.
Rally New Zealand has offered a multi-stage access ticket for $35 per day for Friday and Saturday. The final day of the rally will be at the remarkable Jack’s Ridge venue in Whitford with tickets from $59 which includes entry to the power stage and car parking adjacent to the venue. Further options are available at Jack’s Ridge including the Gold Pass zone ($99) or VIP hospitality tickets ($300+GST).
Further details around spectator points and the itinerary will be released in the coming weeks.
Limited Gold Passes are on sale providing premium spectating throughout the four days of the event along with unique Gold Pass merchandise.
Repco Rally New Zealand organisers believe the remarkable spectating at Jack’s Ridge which offers a full day of rally action culminating in the thrilling finale promises to be world-class sporting experience. With tickets limited and on the back of a sold out Battle of Jack’s Ridge event in 2020 fans are encouraged to get in quickly before tickets are sold out.
Repco Rally New Zealand is a family-friendly event with kids 12 and under free and half-price tickets for those aged 13 to 18 years.
Van Gisbergen said that it was his childhood memories of Rally New Zealand that has led to his involvement.
“I’ve been around it a long time and going to all the rallies when I was young watching Rally New Zealand. It has always been a dream to do it but I’ve never really had the chance.
“My favourite memories were as a young kid. Before the Manukau Super Stage was built, they had it up the road at Totara Park which was not far from where I grew up. It was in the early 90s and it was at night. I remember being on dad’s shoulders watching the cars go through there.”
Van Gisbergen said his father competed and with the advantage of local knowledge, especially in the regularly wet conditions, he was faster than the WRC cars- – until they struck a dry year and his luck also dried up.
“For me it’s cool that I will be on the other side of the fence.”
He will be supported by Perth-based Race Torque, run by two ex-pat New Zealanders with plenty of experience in rallying, along with his co-driver, former Australian champion Brisbane based Glen Weston.
Van Gisbergen competed in the opening round of the Australian Rally Championship earlier this year in Canberra which rekindled his interest, and he plans to bring his car to New Zealand in advance of Repco Rally New Zealand, potentially to drive in Rally Hawkes Bay.
But he is not putting undue pressure on himself.
“I need to get used to pace notes, how to read the New Zealand roads and just get better. Pace notes are where most of the speed is for me.
“I do not have any expectations for results. For me just competing in the event is going to be epic, to see the stages packed with fans, and having the service park on the Auckland waterfront, it is just going to be an awesome event.
“I am looking forward to be part of it. I just want to do a good job and keep it straight, be there at the end and be part of this incredible event.”
Friday: $35 + Parking per day accesses all spectator points (itinerary to be announced)
Saturday: $35 + parking per day accesses all spectator points (itinerary to be announced)
Sunday: From $59 (includes parking)
Gold Pass tickets: $195 includes exclusive access to shakedown, priority viewing at SSS1 (tba), Friday stages including priority gold pass parking, Saturday stages including priority gold pass parking, Jack’s Ridge Wolf Power Stage including gold pass spectating area and priority gold pass parking, gold Pass official merchandise.