Shane Van Gisbergen has announced his return to V8 Supercars with a move to Tekno Autosports.
Van Gisbergen joins tekno Autosports owner/driver Jonathon Webb with Van Gisbergen at the helm of the #97 Holden Commodore VF backed by V.I.P. Petfoods.
Van Gisbergen’s announcement comes just eight weeks after he left the Stone Brothers Racing team, and seemingly V8 Supercars, citing personal reasons for leaving the sport. However, after taking some time out in his native New Zealand to reflect on his future, the 23 year old has reversed his decision.
“Towards the end of last year, I started to lose motivation,” Van Gisbergen said. “The environment wasn’t right and I was struggling to remember why I was racing – it wasn’t a great mindset to be in, so I made the decision to take a break,”
“I spent six weeks back home and was able to recharge my batteries. I had a good hard think about my career and considered my options.
“As part of that, I decided that if I was going to return, I needed a fresh challenge in a new environment, and this is exactly the opportunity I was looking for.
“Tekno Autosports is one of the sport’s up-and-coming teams, and (team owners) Jonathon and Kobe Webb have built a really strong, tight knit team, with guys like (team manager) Bruce Jenkins.
“Tekno has great staff, and the equipment and resources that you need to win races.”
Van Gisbergen said while he had walked away from V8 Supercars, he had never permanently retired from the sport.
“I was never retired, retirement is final and that was never my consideration. I said I was leaving the sport for a bit. I’ve considered my options and this is the next chapter in my career.”
Van Gisbergen is also set to campaign a full season in the New Zealand BNT V8 SuperTourer Championship series and will be contesting the Bathurst 12-Hour with Tony and Klark Quinn in a VIP Petfoods-backed Porsche. He has also has spoken of driving in the NZ Rally Championship and the D1NZ National Drifting Championship.
“We are delighted to welcome Shane Van Gisbergen to our team,” Tekno Autosports Chief Executive Officer Kobe Webb said.
“Jonathon and Shane drove together at Bathurst a few years ago where they forged a strong friendship.
“The two have always kept in touch and it was only a week or so ago that Shane began to consider his return to V8s and any serious discussions took place.
“Shane and Jonathon are an exciting and dynamic driver combination and we are looking to them helping Tekno Autosports continue its progress towards being a stronger and even more competitive team in V8 Supercars.”
The 2013 V8 Supercars Championship kicks off with the Official Pre-Season Test at Sydney Motor Sport Park on Saturday, 16 February, with the opening round, the Clipsal 500, in Adelaide on 28 February – 3 March).