Newly crowned Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen isn’t taking a break from the driver’s seat over the summer as he will compete in the North Island Sprint Car Championship.
The Kiwi star, who in 2022 has clinched his third Supercars crown as well as a second Bathurst 1000 success, opens another chapter of his multi-discipline motorsport career when he pilots a methanol-fuelled Sprint Car at Baypark Speedway on Saturday night.
It will be van Gisbergen’s second foray onto loose surfaces this year, having already scored an impressive result on the rally scene with his top-10 finish in WRC Rally New Zealand.
He’ll pilot the United Truck Parts Sprint Car in several events over the summer.
The Supercars champion provides one part of the international quality in a bumper 34-car field entered for the CB Caravans and RV Centre North Island Sprint Car Championship at Baypark Speedway this Saturday night.
Among the leading contenders is California racer Jonathan Allard, a two-time NZ champion who has already tasted success in his latest Kiwi campaign with a feature race win in Auckland last weekend.
And young Kiwi Travis Buckley is back in action after a busy US Midget Car campaign during 2022.
Wellington’s Jamie Larsen is the defending North Island champion, and the field includes former NZ champions Rodney Wood (Tauranga), Jamie McDonald (Auckland), Dean Brindle (Hamilton) and Kerry Brocas (Pukekohe).
With two wins already this season, Daniel Thomas has proven the form driver at Baypark while other challengers include brothers James and Keaton Dahm (Tokoroa) and Palmerston North’s Dean Cooper.
An additional attraction at the big pre-Christmas meeting is the long-awaited return of Super Stock teams racing after a break of five years. The Baypark Busters get their first hit-out of the summer in a four-team contest that brings the Rotorua Rebels, Waikato Wanderers and Gisborne Giants to Baypark.
Super Saloon racing completes Saturday night’s programme with a 15-car grid entered including Auckland visitors Craig Cardwell and Bodie Abrahamson and Mark Pitcher (Wellington).
Shane van Gisbergen will get out on track for the 2022/23 North Island Sprint Car Championship at Baypark Speedway in Mount Maunganui on December 10, 2022.
Main image: Supplied | Words: Baypark Speedway