Three-time series champion Shane van Gisbergen will remain in Supercars after committing to Red Bull Ampol Racing with a multi-year contract extension.
The new deal will see van Gisbergen approach a decade with Triple Eight Race Engineering, having joined the team in 2016.
Van Gisbergen has become a powerhouse with Triple Eight, claiming three drivers’ championships and two Bathurst wins with the team.
In 213 starts with Triple Eight, van Gisbergen has claimed 66 wins, 132 podiums and 41 pole positions.
Recently, van Gisbergen scored his 170th career podium, taking him past Triple Eight veteran Craig Lowndes’ tally of 169.
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Kostecki avoids chaos, makes it 2 from 2 | 00:57
Van Gisbergen raced alongside current team boss Jamie Whincup between 2016 and 2021 — in that time, they won three titles for the team.
Broc Feeney replaced Whincup in 2022, and has since won races in Adelaide and Albert Park.
The New Zealander has also helped secure four teams’ championships for Red Bull Ampol Racing in 2016, 2018, 2021 and 2022.
“Extending with Red Bull Ampol Racing was a no-brainer for me,” van Gisbergen said.
“It’s certainly exciting to continue with the best team in pit lane and I’m stoked to be able to stay.
“I’ve never been happier at this team.”
Watching his team’s quick response and turnaround after his recent Melbourne crash proved key to Shane van Gisbergen’s re-signing with Red Bull Ampol Racing.
After a winning start in Newcastle, van Gisbergen arrived at Albert Park keen to claw back ground in the championship due to his Race 1 disqualification.
Instead, van Gisbergen crashed out of Practice 1 and was forced to watch on from the sidelines in Practice 2.
However, van Gisbergen’s team not only turned the car around, but fixed it to an extent that van Gisbergen bounced back and scored pole position.
Later that afternoon, he won Race 3 — and the Kiwi’s thoughts of staying had been vindicated.
“The coolest moment for me, and one that really solidified my decision was the team repairing my car after I had that shunt at the Australian Grand Prix [Melbourne SuperSprint],” he said.
“Everyone stuck in to help each other to get #97 fixed. Even though we missed the next practice session, to come out and put the car on pole in qualifying was amazing.
“Seeing how much that meant to everyone was a special moment, and to then win that race was unreal. It’s such a fantastic team environment at the moment, and we have a great crew that I love working with.”
Pit tactics give SVG Race 3 win! | 01:22
In recent years, van Gisbergen has supplemented his Supercars commitments with extra-curricular competition.
Notably, he has cast his eye to rallying and speedway, and also competes in GT racing for Triple Eight.
Last year, van Gisbergen was linked to a possible NASCAR cameo.
However, the 33-year-old maintains that Supercars is his priority, but said towards the end of 2022 that the new Gen3 rules would shape his future.
In two rounds, van Gisbergen has already reached victory lane and is just 86 points from series leader, Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki.
“The best thing about our sport is that it’s always evolving,” he said.
“All these challenges we’ve had with the new cars will hopefully work themselves out as we keep updating the cars over the next few events.
“There’s always something to learn and always things to keep getting better at.
“It’s those challenges that keep it fresh, and working with this team to understand those challenges and make the cars better is what I really enjoy.
“I want to thank the team, our partners and our fans for their support. Triple Eight is a cool place to be a part of and I’m looking forward to the future.”
Whincup said it was an “honour” that van Gisbergen opted to re-sign with Triple Eight.
“It’s always great news when you have the best driver in the country deciding to put his faith in the team at Triple Eight Race Engineering to give him a fast, reliable race car to showcase his skills,” Whincup said.
“It’s a huge honour that Shane has chosen us to continue that relationship. We will of course continue to invest in him, his support crew, engineering and mechanics, to give him the best equipment to remain competitive in the sport.
“We as a team need the best drivers in the country to showcase our skills. At the end of the day, we’re an engineering company and we pride ourselves on building the best race cars and componentry and representing ourselves in the highest regard.
“One of those factors is that we need someone to get behind the wheel and showcase that work we do and represent the brand and our partners in the highest possible light, and we believe Shane is the best person for that.”
Van Gisbergen will be joined by Richie Stanaway for the 2023 endurance races, the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000.
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint on April 28-30.