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Shane van Gisbergen set for NASCAR debut

Repco Supercars Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen will make his NASCAR Cup debut after it was announced he will drive the Trackhouse Racing’s PROJECT91 entry in Chicago on July 2.

Van Gisbergen joins the likes of Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen in driving the PROJECT91 Chevrolet Camaro in an entry designed to allow the entrance of the world’s best drivers into NASCAR, with the Chicago street circuit set to host the multiple Repco Supercars Championship winner’s debut.

“I can honestly say I have dreamed about an opportunity in NASCAR, but really never thought it would become a reality,” said van Gisbergen.

“I can’t wait to get to the States to meet everyone and prepare for Chicago. It’s NASCAR’s first time on the streets of Chicago so in some ways everyone will be a rookie like me, but I don’t underestimate that it’s going to be a huge challenge.

“There is so much I have to learn about these cars and how the races are run. The learning curve will be quite steep, but I am ready for everything they will throw at me. I know a lot of Kiwi’s and Aussies will be watching and I’m honoured to get this opportunity.”

The New Zealander will join Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain in the three-car team as Team Owner/Founder Justin Marks explained this demonstrates the venture’s planned expansion.

“We have been very pleased with the fan reaction to Kimi’s participation the last two seasons,” said Marks.

“I’ll concede the American racing fan might not be as familiar with Shane as they are with Kimi but if you talk with anyone in Australia, New Zealand and that part of the world they will tell you he is one of the most talented drivers on the planet. He’s used to street racing in heavy cars and I think everyone will be very impressed with his performance.”

Enhance Health will support van Gisbergen’s Chevrolet Camaro as he will be guided by crew chief Darian Grubb, a Cup Series title winner alongside Tony Stewart more than a decade ago.

Van Gisbergen joins the likes of Marcos Ambrose, Allan Grice, Owen Kelly and Dick Johnson in racing NASCAR as well as Australian touring cars.