Hamilton: Champion rowers will have a fast ride

CHAMPION ROWERS TO GET A TASTE OF THE V8 ACTION AT HAMILTON THIS WEEKEND Two of New Zealand's world champion rowers will swap their rowing oars for fireproof overalls and crash helmets this week when they join Kiwi V8 ace Shane Van Gisbergen for...

CHAMPION ROWERS TO GET A TASTE OF THE V8 ACTION AT HAMILTON THIS WEEKEND

Two of New Zealand's world champion rowers will swap their rowing oars for fireproof overalls and crash helmets this week when they join Kiwi V8 ace Shane Van Gisbergen for some hot laps of Hamilton's exciting new street circuit.

Eighteen-year-old sensation Van Gisbergen will take triple world sculling champion Mahe Drysdale and coxless four world champion - and born and bred Hamilton boy - James Dallinger for laps of the circuit on Friday in the build up to the weekend's V8 Supercar races.

And the Kiwi connection won't stop there. The Stone brothers, who run Van Gisbergen's Ford, also hail from New Zealand.

Halberg award winners Drysdale and Dallinger -- who both head off soon to the Beijing Olympics in their quests for gold medal -- are hugely excited by the opportunity to try out the circuit at near race speeds in one of the Stone Brothers' Racing V8 Ford Supercars.

"It's not everyday I'd get in the passenger seat alongside an 18-year-old, but Shane is something special and it'll be great fun," said Drysdale. "It'll be interesting to see some familiar corners and parts of Hamilton at a very different speed than we are used to, but both James and I know we are in very safe hands indeed."

Dallinger -- also Waikato's Sportsman of the Year and like Drysdale a blue oval supporter in the Holden vs Ford series -- hopes Van Gisbergen won't hold back.

"I can't wait, it should be brilliant. I just hope Shane doesn't think we don't want to go fast because we compete at much slower speeds. We all love going fast!"

Several of rowing's elite team will be heading to Hamilton to watch the V8 Supercars over the weekend.

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Series Supercars