Shane van Gisbergen will head into this weekend’s V8 Supercars Phillip Island 300 with an extra spring in his step after Stone Brothers Racing announced that it had extended its contract with the talented New Zealander until the end of the 2015 season.
The deal – which also includes an extension of SP Tools’ naming rights contract for his #9 Ford Falcon – will make him the longest-serving driver in the championship-winning team’s history.
“Shane is 23 now and timing is just perfect to try and win a championship or two in the next few years,” team co-owner Ross Stone is quoted as saying in the team’s media release.
“Everyone in the team is happy that Shane and SP Tools are staying on with us, and it gives us the opportunity to finish off something we have started. We can smell it, we can see it and we can hear it, we just need to go and do it.
“I believe Shane is more than capable of winning the Championship. He has natural talent and he is one of those drivers who actually has the V8 Supercar dream. He doesn’t have the desire to race for a European team and he isn’t using this as a stepping stone.”
Van Gisbergen made his championship debut in 2007 at Oran Park Raceway with Team Kiwi Racing, joining the Stone Brothers Racing squad full-time in 2008.
After several seasons of promise, he broke his victory duck last year with a win on home soil at Hamilton, before backing it up with his second victory at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway later in the season en route to finishing fourth in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
This season, van Gisbergen has achieved a second-placed finish at Symmons Plains, along with a further four top-ten finishes, to lie sixth in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
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