Shane van Gisbergen inducted to MotorSport Wall of Fame
Reigning Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen has been inducted into New Zealand’s MotorSport Wall of Fame at the annual MotorSport New Zealand Awards Evening on Saturday night.
The MotorSport Wall of Fame was established in 1994 and is a permanent reminder of the achievements of past and present members who, through their endeavours, have been instrumental in bringing MotorSport achievements to the world at large.
Inductees to the MotorSport Wall of Fame are not an annual occurrence, taking place only when an individual’s achievements met the incredibly high standards of those who have been inducted before them.
Van Gisbergen’s induction into the Wall of Fame comes off the back of his third Supercars title in 2022. Now fourth on the all-time Supercars winner’s list with 77 victories, van Gisbergen has forged not only one of the most successful careers in New Zealand motorsport but one of the most diverse too.
Known for his ability behind the wheel of whatever he can get his hands on, van Gisbergen has won at the highest level globally in GT racing as well as winning the 66th New Zealand Grand Prix from the pitlane in 2021. The Kiwi has also proven himself as a rallying talent, with success on both sides of the Tasman including a podium finish on his debut World Rally Championship debut in the WRC2 class in New Zealand in 2022.
“New Zealand has such a proud and rich 75+ year history in motorsport and Shane is one of the best the world has ever seen,” said Wayne Christie, President of MotorSport New Zealand.
“Shane’s immense talent seems to know no bounds. He’s immediately quick in everything he drives and I’m looking forward to him continuing to take on new challenges throughout the remainder of what is already an amazing career.”
Van Gisbergen joins fellow Supercars drivers Scott McLaughlin, Greg Murphy, Craig Baird, Paul Radisich and Jim Richards on the MotorSport Wall of Fame.
FULL INDUCTION CITATION:
Shane van Gisbergen is a prominent figure in the world of motorsports, known for his exceptional talent and accomplishments in the realm of racing. Born to race on 9 May 1989, in Auckland, New Zealand, van Gisbergen has established himself as one of the most successful and versatile drivers of his generation.
At the tender age of five, Shane began racing quad bikes on natural terrain motocross tracks. Along with his motocross, Shane raced a Quarter Midget on speedway ovals before a brief but, of course, successful stint in karting. In 2003 Shane won both a CIK National title and a North Island title in Junior Yamaha.
After winning the 2004 SpeedSport Scholarship, Shane’s focus switched to circuit racing. With the scholarship providing a fully funded season in the NZ Formula First Championship, he was able to cut his teeth in one of the most competitive classes in the country.
Shane then quickly moved his way up the path in New Zealand. First proving himself in the NZ Formula Ford Championship in 2005-06, winning the title with 12 wins from 19 races along with 18 podiums and five pole positions. Next was the Toyota Racing Series in 2007 where he finished runner-up with two race wins, nine podiums and three pole positions.
Later that same year, at just 17 years of age, Shane was signed to Stone Brothers Racing on a multi-year contract to race in the famed Supercars Championship. Shane’s dream was realised in August of 2007 when he made his Supercars debut at Oran Park.
In Shane’s first full-time Supercars season in 2008, he recorded his maiden podium and finished 15th in the points. Shane’s breakout year in the Supercars Championship would come in 2011, winning his first race in front of a home crowd at the Hamilton Street Circuit. Shane would go on to claim a further two wins and six podiums that season to finish fourth overall.
After switching teams to Tekno Autosport in 2013, Shane notched up a string of victories, including major events such as the Adelaide 500. At this time, he also began dipping his toes in the world of GT racing. Daytona, Spa, Monza, Silverstone, Nurburgring, Sebring, Le Mans and Bathurst. Shane proved he could drive anything, anywhere and not only mix it at the top of the field but win against the world’s best.
Shane’s ability was such that Supercars powerhouse, Triple Eight Race Engineering, signed him in 2016. Despite having Supercars’ biggest names Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes as his teammates, Shane outshone them and the rest of the field over the season to claim the 2016 Supercars title with eight wins and 18 podiums.
57 Supercars race wins later, including two Bathurst 1000 victories in 2020 and 2022, Shane amassed a further two Championships. His most recent in 2022 came with an impressive 21 race wins inside the season, a new record for the series’ 60+ year history.
Outside of Supercars, Shane produced one of the greatest drives ever seen at the New Zealand Grand Prix. Having started from the pitlane, he charged his way through to the star-studded field to win the 66th New Zealand Grand Prix. Away from circuit racing, Shane has taken on rallying. His natural ability behind the wheel saw him record strong results in select rallies across New Zealand and Australia before taking on the world again for the New Zealand round of the 2022 World Rally Championship where he finished third in the WRC2 class.
Shane is a natural-born driver and racer who is already so accomplished with many years still to come in his career.