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Kings of Pukekohe – Part 3, Shane van Gisbergen

As one New Zealander to take on IndyCar, another slid into the role as the dominant driver in the Repco Supercars Championship.

Shane van Gisbergen developed a close rivalry with his countryman Scott McLaughlin where both represented the Holden and Ford brands with distinction.

Debuting as a promising 18-year-old prospect back at Oran Park in 2007, van Gisbergen has developed into one of the greatest drivers in Australian Touring Car Championship history and is a fan favourite.

A Repco Supercars Championship winner in addition to a Bathurst 1000 and New Zealand Grand Prix winner, van Gisbergen has also won in GTs abroad, but has always remained focused on racing either at home or in Australia.

Acknowledged as one of the most versatile drivers on the grid following starring performances in gravel rallying, van Gisbergen is also preparing to compete in Repco Rally New Zealand on the last weekend in September.

Racing Supercars at home holds good memories for van Gisbergen as he achieved his first win on the streets of Hamilton in 2011 for fellow New Zealanders the Stone Brothers.

Not competing at Pukekohe until Supercars returned there in 2013, it was a year later he scored his first home win and has since added a further four victories.

In what has been an era dominated by New Zealand drivers, the rivalry between van Gisbergen and McLaughlin has sometimes been controversial, but has been a joy to watch for fans as two of the best drivers this part of the world has to offer went door-to-door.

Since McLaughlin left at the end of the 2020 season to race IndyCar, van Gisbergen has dominated Supercars racing by winning 30 races from the last 56.

Van Gisbergen’s most emotional moments have been at Pukekohe in front of the packed stands and is one of his best circuits in terms of results. Even when contesting the New Zealand V8 SuperTourers Series van Gisbergen took a clean-sweep at Pukekohe.

The best thing about van Gisbergen is he will be there to provide a fitting farewell to a legendary New Zealand circuit.