Despite signing what was initially reported as a multi-year contract with Red Bull Ampol Racing just two months ago, Shane van Gisbergen has revealed he may look elsewhere beyond 2024.
The Kiwi spoke to select Australian media ahead of this weekend’s NASCAR event in Chicago, including to discuss his future plans, and it seems a move further abroad may be on the cards.
“I guess Supercars isn’t that fun at the moment,” he told Australian media on Friday morning. “[I’m] not really enjoying it as much and starting to think about other things and look around.
“But my motivation for Supercars is high. Like, I’m still trying hard and pushing as hard as I can. It’s complicated. Now I’ve started watching NASCAR more again this year that the opportunity has come up, and it’s appealing.”
The 79-win Supercars veteran will feature in this weekend’s Grant Park 220 with Trackhouse Racing as a part of their Project91 program, which hosts select international stars for cameo appearances.
While NASCAR has been touted as an option for the three-time Supercar champion going forward, previous comments indicated a lack of interest in oval racing.
“Like, you see so many more road courses,” the Kiwi said on the American series. “The cars are so similar now. Two seasons ago, the cars were so foreign. You couldn’t jump in them straight away. You’d have to have done a couple of years of trucks or Xfinity – like Marcus (Ambrose) did up the ladder.
“These cars are much more relevant for any driver throughout the world.
“It looks appealing. They’re doing more road courses, more variation, and seeing this week the routine; like you go to a race, you have a day off, then you spend the week debriefing and then focus on the next race and go travelling and do it all again.
“The routine of racing and every weekend is, it’s pretty appealing. It’s mid-year now, past mid-year, and we’ve only done five races in Supercars. So that’s the appeal for me just to go try it out and race every week.”
While van Gisbergen admitted there are no active talks for a full-time role in the series, he did make a point to mention he would see out his contract with Triple Eight Race Engineering, which runs through the entire 2024 Supercars season.
While that contract was stated as being multi-year, a clause in it means he is available to leave should an opportunity be presented elsewhere.
The one-off cameo this weekend presents the perfect opportunity for the two-time Bathurst 1000 winner to stake out the series, with the Kiwi admitting there’s no pressure on him to score championship points.
“Just open eyes and ears this week, just try and take it all in and enjoy myself, really,” he explained when discussing what he hoped to get from this weekend.
“I’ve got no pressure on myself for results, and I know that my preparation is good, and if I have fun, maybe it’s something I will look at.
“I’m fully focused on Supercars for this year and next, for sure. Maybe if something comes up [in 2025], I’ll definitely entertain it.”
NASCAR seems to be at the forefront of his American interests, with a switch to an open-wheel series, such as IndyCar, seen as a direction he necessarily wouldn’t want to pursue.
“The oval stuff doesn’t really excite me much in those cars, not like NASCAR does,” he said.
“NASCAR looks really appealing and something I’d sort of jump at. Whereas IndyCar, you’d have to think about. It’s a massive, massive change in career driving style. For me, I’d have to break with the other foot. It’s a huge, huge departure from what I do now.
“The NASCAR stuff is a massive change, but not as big.”