A number of factors should help ease the Kiwi’s transition from Supercars to NASCAR, starting with the similarities between the two technical packages in their current forms.
The fact that it is a street course, rather than an oval, will also be a significant advantage for van Gisbergen – even more so than if he was debuting on a regular road course.
Not only is the circuit new for all of the NASCAR drivers, but street circuits are commonplace in Supercars, the current calendar featuring Newcastle, Albert Park, Townsville, Surfers Paradise and Adelaide.
While that means van Gisbergen has extensive street circuit experience, he’s still not expecting to be automatically competitive on debut.
“I guess it’s hard to just jump in one race, especially [as] they do more than one [road course] a year now so they’re pretty sharp,” said van Gisbergen.
“I have obviously taken notice the last couple of months and have tried to watch. They’re not billies. It’s not like there’s only two or three good road course racers anymore. The top 10 or 15 guys can drive and turn right now.
“It’s going to be very difficult.”
Van Gisbergen’s versatility is well-known with success having come in almost everything he’s tried his hand at.
He enjoyed a stint as a factory-backed GT driver with the likes of McLaren and Mercedes, which yielded a Bathurst 12 Hour win and a GT World Challenge Europe title in 2016.
He then returned to open-wheelers to win the New Zealand Grand Prix, after starting from pitlane, in 2021.
More recently he has been competing on dirt, scoring a WRC2 podium at Rally New Zealand last year, while he has a regular programme in the NZ Rally Championship this year.
He also spent the summer competing in sprintcars in NZ.