It’s well documented that kiwi’s love their racing, there are currently five of them in the current line-up of the Supercars Championship, including the top two – one of which being our very own Shane “SVG” van Gisbergen, chasing rival Scotty McLaughlin.
Heading across the ditch for the only New Zealand race on the calendar is always a welcome change for our kiwi friends – and often a chance to relish being at home with their family again, and even stocking up on their mum’s cooking.
The drivers love it, the fans love it, even the sheep get around it… There’s always plenty on the line for a kiwi driver.
“It’s always awesome to race at home, the fan support we get there is awesome,” SVG said with a smile.
“Anytime a Kiwi makes a pass on the track, the crowd go nuts up on the hill.
“I have most of my family and friends down at the track for the weekend so it’s always crazy busy.
“I guess there can be some pressure to win there but I try not to make it about that and just try to enjoy it mainly.”
Rewind 12 months and we were heading to New Zealand with Jamie “J-Dub” Whincup at the front of our pace and SVG behind him, about 189 points off the lead.
This year we’re in a pretty similar position, however, it’s SVG chasing the leader by just 14 points and J-Dub is 433 points behind Scotty.
But as we learnt last year, anything can happen – right up until the last minute.
“It’s cool to think a kiwi could win a championship,” said SVG.
“Scotty and I have had some good battles there and the key now is to not make any mistakes.”
Last year’s race saw some torrential rain cause havoc on the newly resurfaced back straight, but despite the forecasted rain, the circuit is well-prepared for another fantastic weekend of racing.
“The circuit is better – I went drifting there in April and the track was all fixed up,” continued SVG.
“The rain could come, and we’ll just deal with it as it comes, I just hope it’s not too crazy.”