New Zealand stars targeted for GP tilt – report

The likes of Supercars star Shane van Gisbergen and Le Mans winners Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber could make cameo starts at next year’s New Zealand Grand Prix, according to a report by the NZ Herald.

The newspaper report claims that four additional Toyota Racing Series chassis could be rolled out for what is both the season finale and the NZGP at Manfeild next February, to give high-profile stars a chance to return to their open-wheeler roots.

Potential targets for the cameo spots include ex-TRS competitor and reigning Supercars champion van Gisbergen, along with recently-crowned Le Mans winners Hartley and Bamber.

Other names listed in the report include DJR Team Penske pair Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin, and Super GT driver Nick Cassidy.

Van Gisbergen, famous for combining his Supercars duties with other forms of motorsport including drifting and GT racing, told the NZ Herald he’s jump at the chance if it came up, and the finances made sense.

"It is in a good time of the year for us in our off-season," he said.

"I'd love to do it.

"The reason it is mainly the European guys these days is that it is so expensive now. To find a one-off would be hard. I would love to have a go in it and see how I would go against all the young guys.

"It is very different now to when I used to do it. When I did it, there were two internationals and the rest were Kiwis and now it is the other way around.

"I would come back and race in New Zealand in a heartbeat – I love racing there."

The New Zealand Grand Prix winner’s list includes Stirling Moss, Bruce McLaren, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Keke Rosberg, Ken Smith, Greg Murphy, Bamber, Cassidy, and Lance Stroll. 

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Fabian Coulthard , Brendon Hartley , Shane van Gisbergen , Earl Bamber , Scott McLaughlin , Nick Cassidy
Article type Breaking news