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Shane van Gisbergen to contest Repco Rally New Zealand

Repco Supercars Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen will return to the dirt in another cameo appearance, contesting his first World Rally Championship event in New Zealand’s comeback to the calendar.

The Kiwi ace will contest the WRC2 category in the same Skoda Fabia R5 he made his Australian Rally Championship debut with earlier this year, prepared by Race Torque.

Also continuing is experienced co-driver Glen Weston as van Gisbergen told is thrilled to receive the opportunity to contest an event he watched growing up.

“I grew up chasing the rally and going to it every time it was there,” said van Gisbergen to

“The roads, Maramarua Forest and then obviously Whaanga Coast and through Raglan and stuff like that, getting to actually drive these roads now will be pretty cool.

“It’ll be epic. I think they’re finished on Jack’s Ridge on the Sunday as well. It’ll be cool being able to finish on some roads that are familiar. I’m pretty stoked for it.

“When I was trying to attract some sponsors for it, like how excited everyone is, for the return of rally to New Zealand, it’s pretty awesome to see how pumped everyone is.”

The event will feature a distinct Kiwi flavour as van Gisbergen joins WRC event winner Haydon Paddon in the WRC2 field as he attempts to return to the discipline’s top-tier.

“Well, I’ll be in the same class as Paddon, but I don’t think I’ll be up against him,” van Gisbergen remarked.

“Obviously, I’ll be able to compare to the WRC2 guys. I know the top guys are quick and obviously Hayden is going to be a pace setter, but then you’ll be able to compare to the WRC1 cars as well on the same road and see how much quicker those things are.

“It’s going to be pretty cool to compare to them, but for sure, they’ll be a lot quicker than me.”

Finishing runner up in his maiden ARC event in Canberra, van Gisbergen went one better late-last year at the inaugural Jack’s Ridge event in New Zealand where the WRC event concludes.

Repco Rally New Zealand begins on September 29 and finishes on October 2, one week before the Supercars return to the Mountain at Bathurst.