Stone Brothers Racing held an official press conference ahead of this weekend's Hamilton ITM 400 to announce that Shane van Gisbergen had re-signed with the Ford-backed team until the end of 2012.
The extension comes at the turning point of van Gisbergen's career, after the Kiwi secured three podium finishes to open the 2010 V8 Supercar season, and the SP Tools-backed youngster is delighted to be remaining with the three-time champions.
“This is what my dad and I have been aiming for, as we've been getting better and better and have really settled in with the team over the years," he noted, "The results have started to come so, when it came time to look at my future, there was no reason to leave SBR.
“We had options from other teams, but it never really entered my mind to make the switch. I am getting more confident every race meeting and it's all looking pretty good. To sign up for at least another two years is really exciting, there is great stability in the team and I know the results will keep coming. Money was never really a factor in my decision to re-sign with SBR, I am only 20 years old and, for me, this is all about winning a championship. It doesn't matter to me what I'm getting paid, I get to race cars for a living and I couldn't be happier.”
New Zealand-born van Gisbergen made his V8 Supercar debut two years ago at Oran Park at the tender age of 18, driving the Stone Brothers-backed Team Kiwi entry. Since then, he has been classed as 'hot property', with many keeping an eye on the young prodigy. He remains the youngest full-time driver in V8 Supercars
“We are thrilled to have Shane join the team for another two seasons," SBR team principal Ross Stone admitted, "He definitely had offers from other teams, but he is extremely loyal to SBR and, like us, isn't looking to break the chemistry in the team. We have invested a lot in his career over the past few years and it's great to be at a point where we are achieving what we knew he was always capable of.
“Although, by nature, Shane is relatively reserved, when the helmet goes on, he commands the respect of his fellow competitors for his consistent speed and great car control, particularly in wet conditions.”
The announcement also confirmed that SP Tools will continue as naming rights sponsor of the #9 Falcon until the end of 2012.
“It's great to have SP Tools on board with us as naming rights of the #9 car for another two seasons," Stone continued, "The SP brand has been with us since SBR began in 1998, which makes them our longest running team partner. Our relationship with SP Tools is a long one and a strong one.”