SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen has given the new Hamilton street circuit the thumbs up after making the trip south to view it yesterday [Monday].

van Gisbergen, born and bred in Manukau, returned to New Zealand last Friday to spend some time with family and friends before round three of the V8 Supercar Championship Series this weekend, and then took advantage of his location to take a sneak preview of the all-new venue, which replaces Pukekohe on the V8 Supercar schedule.

"I got down to Hamilton yesterday to have a look at the circuit and it's pretty good," van Gisbergen said, "It's quite wide in a lot of places, but we won't know how good the passing opportunities are until we get on the track and get a feel for the surface. The weather looks like it might also play a part this weekend - it hasn't stopped raining since I arrived in NZ!

"While there is no advantage to anyone at a new circuit like Hamilton, it feels like my home event in some ways. I'm really excited to be home and can't wait to get out there."

The New Zealand round always holds a special place for Stone Brothers Racing, with team owners Ross and Jimmy Stone originating from Onewhero, near Pukekohe.

"I believe the SBR team is working well and I am sure our cars will be strong on the new street circuit," he noted, "We have a lot of Kiwis in the team, so we are looking forward to going to Hamilton. Now is the time for us to put together the complete package and walk away with a result.

"James [Courtney] is in a poor points position after so much promise early in the season, so it really is time to turn all the hard work into a solid result but, with Shane, it will be up to the team to help him through the New Zealand race as there are some high expectations for him back home. We are confident that if we look after him and he does his job he could be the surprise packet."



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