SHANE van Gisbergen is set to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut this year.
V8 Sleuth understands the three-time Supercars champion is locked in to drive Trackhouse Racing’s Project91 entry at an upcoming race.
It’s believed that will happen at the all-new Chicago Street Course, which is scheduled to host NASCAR on July 2 – neatly falling between Supercars’ Darwin and Townsville rounds.
There had been growing speculation that the move, first flagged publicly in September last year, will come to fruition.
Trackhouse co-owner Justin Marks last month revealed the #91 Chevrolet which Kimi Raikkonen has now twice raced would next appear with a new driver and sponsor onboard, with van Gisbergen very much fitting the description.
“It’s going to be somebody that has got very, very different experience from NASCAR but in some ways is actually perfectly suited for a Cup race,” Marks told SiriusXM at the time.
“This is somebody who has not raced in America very much at all, but I think is going to be able to go to this particular race and make some real noise. I’m excited about that.”
Project91 was created by Marks last year with the intention of bringing star international drivers into NASCAR.
There continues to be no confirmation of an official SVG/Trackhouse agreement as yet but multiple sources have indicated it is a done deal.
An announcement could come as soon as next week.
Van Gisbergen, who recently committed to Supercars and Triple Eight on a multi-year contract extension, is racing his #97 Red Bull Ampol Chevrolet Camaro at Wanneroo Raceway this weekend.
In speaking on this week’s Castrol Motorsport News podcast, van Gisbergen specifically mentioned how he values the flexibility Triple Eight affords him to race in other categories.
“The great thing of Triple Eight and what I have been getting better at since I have joined the team is, I am allowed to go challenge myself in other areas, whether it is rally or speedway,” he said.
“I didn’t want to lose that because I love being in a professional, top-level sport but getting to try other things too, it’s cool.”
Asked about NASCAR/Trackhouse, van Gisbergen said: “I’d love to do that; they’ve set the bar pretty high with Kimi Raikkonen.
“I’ve tried to get in touch with Paul Morris to try and get into his contacts to give me an introduction. I’d love to do it.”
Van Gisbergen’s compatriot and former Supercars rival Scott McLaughlin has forged a full-time career in the United States via the IndyCar Series.
The most recent Supercars driver to tackle the top-tier NASCAR scene is Marcos Ambrose, who completed six full seasons in the Cup Series from 2009 to 2014.
Van Gisbergen has previously competed in the US, tackling IMSA events including the Daytona 24 Hours in GT machinery.