Van Gisbergen: Fun factor key for Eseries

Van Gisbergen: Fun factor key for Eseries

Shane van Gisbergen has called for the new all-star Supercars Eseries to have a strong focus on fun, including banter between drivers.

Supercars announced on Wednesday it will run a virtual series while real-world racing is on hold until early June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although details are still being worked through, the Eseries will use the iRacing platform and feature real-life Supercars drivers and teams.

Van Gisbergen is a keen Eracer, but says his simulator activities are less serious than when he’s out on the physical race track in his Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodore.

“I race on there a bit with Scotty [McLaughlin] sometimes, Anton [De Pasquale] and all that, but it’s more for a laugh rather than competitive,” van Gisbergen told Supercars.com.

“So I think maybe if we did it with some banter and had a good time [it’ll be good].

“It’s something to do for a while, there’s not much on TV sports-wise at the moment, so hopefully we can do something.

“You’re watching computer racing so you want to make it a bit fun and a bit full-on.”

Asked how he fares against the likes of McLaughlin and De Pasquale in the sim sphere, he said: “Oh, they smoke me!”

A challenge for van Gisbergen could be presented by the fact he’s currently residing in his native New Zealand, with his simulator back in Queensland.

The 30-year-old headed to the North Island following the shortlived Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 – but before the mandatory self-isolation protocol was brought in – to “get away from it all” amid the COVID-19 situation.

A flow-on effect of the worldwide halt on motorsport events is that van Gisbergen and fellow Supercars driver Tim Slade may be forced to withdraw from their 24 Hours of Le Mans debuts.

The famous French-based endurance race was set to take place in June but has now been pushed back to the September 19-20 weekend, which clashes with Supercars’ OTR The Bend 500.

Regardless, van Gisbergen intends to continue driving race cars as he awaits Supercars’ return.

“I’ll be still trying to get in cars and racing around as much as I can, I’ll try to get in a seat somehow,” he said.

Red Bull HRT has indicated van Gisbergen’s teammate Jamie Whincup will also take part in the Eseries.