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VAN GISBERGEN’S TRANS AM DEBUT BLOCKED

SHANE van Gisbergen’s planned Trans Am Series debut at Queensland Raceway next month has been kyboshed due to “political pressures”.

The Triple Eight Supercars star had been primed to enter the burgeoning Australian Racing Group class aboard Tasmanian racer Tim Shaw’s Chevrolet Camaro.

Van Gisbergen tested the car at Queensland Raceway in April ahead of an intended outing at the Easter Bathurst round, which he was ultimately ruled out of due to COVID-19.

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Shaw has now revealed that the versatile Kiwi will not take part in the upcoming Ipswich round on August 5-7 or any others this year.

“It’s disappointing for us. We put a lot of effort into getting Shane in the car,” said Shaw.

“We had a successful test with him, it was a great day, and we were looking forward to a very competitive outing at Queensland Raceway.

“Shane contracted COVID just before the Bathurst round, so that put paid to that, and now political pressures have put a complete end to it.”

When contacted for comment by V8 Sleuth, Triple Eight declared it was a team decision not to allow van Gisbergen to compete.

“The decision was made by Triple Eight for Shane to not compete in the Trans Am Series – there was no external pressure on this decision,” read a brief statement.

Van Gisbergen is understood to require sign-off from Triple Eight before he competes in any extra-curricular racing events

Speculation had swirled ahead of the Bathurst Trans Am round that Supercars was unhappy with the prospect of van Gisbergen competing in the muscle car class.

Supercars and Triple Eight are currently jointly developing a Camaro race car for the category’s Gen3 rules that will debut in 2023, competing against an all-new Ford Mustang.

Trans Am also features a Camaro versus Mustang battle via cost-effective cars imported from the United States and run on ARG’s SpeedSeries program.

“It’s just very disappointing for motorsport, because the fans love to see Shane in the car,” continued Shaw.

“One of the reasons that he is the best is because he is the modern-day Peter Brock – he drives everything.

“At the moment, my car is still entered for QR, so I’ll jump back in and I’ll drive instead of Shane.”

Van Gisbergen has been permitted by Triple Eight to compete in an array of non-Supercars competition in recent years, including various gravel rallies.

The Supercars Championship leader’s rally outings will include an appearance in the New Zealand round of the World Rally Championship a week prior to the Bathurst 1000.

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