Van Gisbergen to make prototype debut

Andrew van Leeuwen

The Kiwi will join countrymen Nick Cassidy and Daniel Gaunt in the #1 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier, replacing car owner Nobuya Yamanaka, who is a late withdrawal.

The outing will mark van Gisbergen's prototype debut, the Triple Eight star best known for his title-winning exploits in touring and GT cars.

He does, however, have valuable track experience at The Bend, van Gisbergen a race winner there in both Supercars and Australian GT – albeit on the shorter International Circuit rather than the 7.7-kilometre GT layout that will be used this weekend.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to join Eurasia Motorsport at The Bend this weekend," said van Gisbergen.

"It will be my first time in a prototype and at a track that will suit them perfectly.

"Getting to join some great friends in Daniel Gaunt and Nick Cassidy will be a lot of fun, and I’ll be leaning from their experience in the car to help get me up to speed as quickly as possible.”

Yamanaka said he's disappointed to be missing The Bend, but that van Gisbergen is a fitting addition to the Kiwi-themed entry.

“Obviously I am really disappointed to not be driving myself this weekend, but I am also very excited that the team New Zealand car can have an all-New Zealand driver line-up in my absence," he said.

"New Zealand is a very important place for me personally as well as my businesses, and I am proud to have these three amazing Kiwi drivers in my car.”