The Repco Rally New Zealand prepares the Gisbergen Bathurst van

The New Zealander was a welcome inclusion in WRC2 at his home round of the championship, evidently delighting both himself and the fans on his way to an impressive third place in his class.

Grinning from ear to ear throughout the weekend, the Red Bull Ampol Racing driver even stated in an interview at the end of the stage that: “Whaanga Coast was the most fun I’ve ever had in a race car.”

However, it came as a surprise to some to see the 33-year-old in a Škoda Fabia Rally2 just a few days before the Repco Bathurst 1000, which takes place this weekend.

The 1,000km, 61-lap endurance race around the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, Australia, is widely regarded as the biggest date on the Australasian motorsports calendar. It’s an important weekend for van Gisbergen as he aims for a second win at Bathurst to cement his drive towards a third Supercars title.

van Gisbergen impressed on his WRC debut

“There is a lot of preparation and effort. [for Repco Rally New Zealand]. Of course, now I’m tired, but it’s a good relaxer for me before the next weekend. It helps me keep my brain alive and active,” van Gisbergen told

“We’ve had a ball, I’ve been learning a lot,” insisted the friendly Kiwi. “All the different conditions…new paths. I love rallying, it’s a nice break from the intensity of circuit racing, hopefully I can do more.”

Van Gisbergen revealed that being present at the central Auckland service park had been planned for a few years. Unsurprisingly, he also noted having a co-driver next to him as one of the biggest adaptations for the weekend.

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“Even in 2020, I thought about it, but it didn’t quite work out, then Covid happened anyway,” he explained.

“Having someone with you, they ride the wave with you. When you make mistakes, they hear you say something, they see the crash coming, there’s someone all along the roller coaster.”

WRC2 – Repco Rally New Zealand 2022: Event Highlights

Riding the wave with van Gisbergen was Australian Glen Weston.

“[Glen] he is a three time Australian champion and came out of retirement for a bit of fun so having him help and guide me has been a huge help. Hopefully he doesn’t retire and we can do a little more next year,” van Gisbergen joked.

So where will we be able to see van Gisbergen next year?

“I don’t care, I just want to be in a car,” he said. “It is quite difficult to get abroad. I love the roads of New Zealand, it’s something I want to do for fun.”

And maybe a more regular show in the future? “I should never say never, I have fun doing what we’re doing.”

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