Motorsport: Van Gisbergen to link with Mercedes

Kiwi driver Shane van Gisbergen will be behind the wheel of a Mercedes Benz next year. Photo / Getty Images.
Kiwi driver Shane van Gisbergen will be behind the wheel of a Mercedes Benz next year. Photo / Getty Images.

Kiwi driver Shane van Gisbergen will be behind the wheel of a Mercedes Benz next year.

Gisbergen drives for Stone Brothers Racing in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series and his team will sever ties with Ford at the end of the season to link up with Erebus Motorsport and race three vehicles from 2013.

Team principal Ross Stone says van Gisbergen and his father who looks after him have been kept in the loop through every movement.

"He's happy and ready to go, he starts a new three year contract next year and the new contract will tie in with the new car.''

He says it's a major change and they're resigned to losing fans because of it.

"It is a major change for us and a lot of Ford supporters - no doubt some will come with us, but there'll be some who are unhappy but not much we can do about that.''

Stone says the writing was on the wall.

"The number of Falcons getting sold now has just dropped right off and I don't think there's any way that Ford can justify their investment in V8 Supercars at what it was in the glory days if you like.''

He says it's going to be somewhat of a hands off approach for them when it comes to engines, having done all their own up until now.

"The engines will all get done in Germany, they'll be serviced here in Australia but when there's major rebuilds going on, they'll go back to Germany initially and so that's a big change and it'll be interesting to see how it goes. I'm confident it'll be fine.''

They become the fourth manufacturer to be involved with V8 Supercars next year, with Nissan already signed up for next season.

- Newstalk ZB

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