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Van Gisbergen embracing step into the unknown

THE steepest of learning curves awaits Shane van Gisbergen, and he’s waiting for it with a grin.

Van Gisbergen’s first full NASCAR campaign gets underway next weekend with double duties at Daytona International Speedway, where he’ll debut in both the ARCA Menards and Xfinity Series.

The Kiwi superstar has been accustomed to winning regularly, but asked if he can merely (perhaps instead) enjoy the challenge of learning, his answer was simple.

“Driving a race car, it’s the best job in the world,” van Gisbergen said via NASCAR on Fox.

The 34-year-old elaborated: “This is so different and even the stuff I have done on the simulator, I never thought two corners could be so difficult – I’ve got to change that, I’ve got to call it four corners now!

“It’s a different world to what I’m used to and all of the experiences, going from the Daytonas to the Martinsvilles, Darlingtons, all those tough kind of tracks; it’s going to be interesting to see what it’s like.

“At the moment I have no idea.”

Contracted to Trackhouse Racing but farmed out to Kaulig Racing, SVG’s first Cup Series outing in 2024 will be at Circuit of The Americas on March 24.

“I kind of know COTA – half of it we did in Supercars 10 years ago, but for sure it’s going to be tough at a track everyone knows so well,” commented van Gisbergen.

Shane van Gisbergen’s #97 NASCAR Xfinity Series Camaro. Pic: Kaulig Racing

So, all in all, is the pressure on?

“I don’t feel it, but I know there is some,” the three-time Supercars champion replied.

“I’m not in the Cup Series yet, so I need to do well, have good results, fit in well this year to make sure I’m in the Cup Series full-time next year.

“But for myself, I’ve just got to enjoy it and have fun and the results will come.”

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