Two-time defending Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen has slammed the sport during a podcast, saying it is “mind-numbing”.
It comes as the fiery New Zealand driver finished 10th in his second Nascar Cup Series start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Speaking to The Dale Jr. Download podcast hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr., the son of 7-time Nascar champion Dale Earnhardt, van Gisbergen said recent changes to Supercars made it “not as enjoyable”.
This season has seen the introduction of Gen3, a revision to the sport’s technical regulations designed to cut costs for competitors by introducing more standardised components to the cars and redesigning the chassis to favour coupe body shapes.
Van Gisbergen told Earnhardt Jr. the new car and concept made for dull racing.
“The qualifying there is awesome but the racing sucks. It’s so boring.
“You’re driving around at 30 per cent trying to keep the tyres and everyone is just following each other. All the parts are the same and the cars [have] got a very narrow setup window. Everyone’s running the same set up basically.
“There’s a minimum tyre pressure rule of 17 pounds so everyone goes out at 17, they come on at the same time, and drive around at the same pace ... They just follow each other around, it’s mind-numbing.”
Van Gisbergen emphasised it was “an awesome car” but it needed time and changes to be made and after going through a massive high in his career after winning a Nascar race on debut last month, it was time to move on.
That’s despite earlier this year inking a new deal with Supercars team Triple Eight Race Engineering through to the end of 2024, with an option for 2025 but he hoped to work something out.
Shane van Gisbergen celebrates with the trophy after his Nascar win in Chicago. Photo / Getty
“My team [Triple Eight] is awesome,” he told Earnhardt.
“All the bosses you speak to, from the main one I got a text after the race saying you’ve got to get over there next year. They’re fully supportive [but] there’s got to be a driver to replace the seat.”
Last month, van Gisbergen became the first driver in 60 years to win a Nascar race on debut, claiming the chequered flag at the inaugural Chicago Street Race with the Trackhouse Racing team.
He told Earnhardt he didn’t expect the race “to go so well” and he loved the style of racing in Nascar.
“I come here and the race is just a hustle the whole time. You just drive them flat out, that’s what I love.”
At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, van Gisbergen finished 10th in his second Nascar Cup Series start after starting eighth on the grid.
After the race, he said his expectations were high because of his finish in Chicago but top 10 was “still pretty good”.
Asked if competing in Nascar fulltime was on the cards next year, van Gisbergen said he was “working towards something.”
“Triple Eight in Australia has been really good to me and forthcoming with what I’m allowed to do, so I’m working hard.
“But here, it’s so much fun, I’m having a blast. The fans here are awesome towards me and all the people too, so I really look forward to coming here.”
Luke Kirkness is an online sport editor for NZ Herald. He previously worked as an assistant news director in the Bay of Plenty and before that at the NZ Herald, covering mainly consumer affairs. He won Student Journalist of the Year in 2019 at the Voyager Media Awards.
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