Motorsport: Stone brothers keen for NZ round on home turf

By Eric Thompson

Shane Van Gisbergen during the 2011 V8 Supercar Championship Series.  Photo / Supplied
Shane Van Gisbergen during the 2011 V8 Supercar Championship Series. Photo / Supplied

Iconic New Zealand V8 Supercars team Stone Brothers Racing have been coming back to race on home soil for more than 15 years and are now one of the premier teams.

Although they had won the odd race here with Marcos Ambrose, it took Ross and Jimmy Stone until last year to win a championship race.

Home-grown talent Shane van Gisbergen pulled off his first V8 Supercars win last year when he led the field home in the wet Sunday race.

This weekend wasn't quite up to last year's standards, but van Gisbergen did manage a 10th in race two to make up for a forgettable race one where he finished 22nd.

"We had a tough weekend this year but we've got some momentum in the championship and we'll rebound in Perth," said Ross Stone.

The weekend is the last time the big bangers will be pounding around the streets of Hamilton after five events in the Waikato city.

"The first time I ever came here and had a look around I thought the Kiwis had done a really good job and should be really proud," Stone said.

"The place was finished so well and every detail seen to. We've really enjoyed racing here ...it's sad it's the last race here and we really need to have a race in New Zealand."

Speculation is rife about where the event may end up. For the Stone Brothers, near their hometown, Pukekohe, would be their choice.

"I hope all the discussions soon lead to a solid calendar event here in New Zealand next year. It's special to race here," Stone said.

"Obviously we're from just outside Pukekohe and I can remember the days when I used to slide under the fence by the Buckland Creek to watch races.

"I have a soft spot for Pukekohe but V8 Supercars will do their due diligence on everything and I will support wherever they want to go."

- NZ Herald

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