Shane van Gisbergen’s former employer, Stone Brothers Racing, is weighing up whether or not to proceed with legal action against the New Zealander.
Van Gisbergen recently announced he would drive for Tekno Autosports in the 2013 V8 Supercars season, just weeks after negotiating an early release from his SBR contract when he made the shock announcement he would quit the championship, citing personal reasons.
It is understood that the terms of van Gisbergen’s release stipulated that he would not be allowed to test or race in a V8 Supercar for the whole of 2013.
It would appear that van Gisbergen signing to another team would therefore be a clear breach of the terms negotiated, a fact not lost on the Stone Brothers operation.
“To say that SBR is displeased with the conduct of [van Gisbergem] is to say the least. SBR is considering its legal position and whether it is worthwhile holding [him] to his promises,” a statement reads.
“[He] was very clear that he wanted a year off and wasn’t going to race again unless he wanted to, not because others wanted him to race. He was going to live in his parent’s pool apartment and ‘chill out’ for a year.
“In the circumstances, SBR agreed to release [him] from his 2013, 2014 and 2015 driving contract. [We] signed a brief termination document. To protect itself and its sponsors SBR required [him] to agree not to test, practice or race any V8 Supercar in 2013. The termination document allowed [him] to race anything other than a V8 Supercar in 2013 if he so wished. The termination document allowed [him] to do whatever he wished from 2014 onwards,” it added.
The team – which will become known as Erebus Racing for the 2013 season after a buyout and switch to AMG power during the off-season – also revealed that the relationship between it and van Gisbergen had broken down shortly after both parties had signed the contract extension that was ultimately ripped up just weeks later.
“At Winton, Friday morning 16th November 2012, Shane van Gisbergen asked if all the SBR traveling race crew could be assembled first thing in the morning. [He] informed the race crew that he wasn’t enjoying his racing and he was going to take a year off and might race quad bikes for fun,” the statement continued.
“That he was not enjoying his racing was no surprise. This was clear enough at the previous race meets at Bathurst and the Gold Coast 600 where it was almost impossible to get [him] to attend autograph sessions and sometimes even communicate with his engineer and crew.
“To race a V8 Supercar for another team in 2013 is contrary to the termination agreement. [He] has explained his move on the basis of dissatisfaction with the direction in which SBR was heading. At no time during the termination process did [he]express any such dissatisfaction with SBR; in fact the opposite was communicated to SBR management on numerous occasions.”
Van Gisbergen has declined to comment on the latest developments.