Van Gisbergen to Lead Triple Eight Program

Photo: Triple Eight

Triple Eight has announced an entry into Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia ahead of the 2021 season.

Shane van Gisbergen will pair up with His Highness Prince Jefri Ibrahim in a Pro-Am class Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo as part of a joint effort between Triple Eight and Johor Motorsports Racing.

Both teams and drivers are familiar counterparts with experience together in GT World Challenge Asia.

“It is fantastic to welcome Johor Motorsport Racing to Australia,” said Triple Eight managing director and team principal Roland Dane.

“Unfortunately, we were only able to compete at the Bathurst 12 Hour for our GT program last year – a year which should have been much more extensive but given the travel restrictions that we faced, we couldn’t do anything further.

“We looked at what we could do this year, and with the Australian GT Championship being revitalized under the umbrella of SRO, it gave us the opportunity to compete here.

“We brought the car back from Asia and Prince Jefri has come down for the year to undertake an extensive driver training program as well as compete with us in the Championship.”

Van Gisbergen will share driving duties at five of the six scheduled events for the year.

GTWC Australia’s round at The Bend Motorsport Park takes place as a Supercars support event, with the clash seeing the New Zealander focus on his Supercars commitments that weekend.

It is not yet known who will fill-in alongside Prince Ibrahim for The Bend.

“It’s cool that Prince Jefri has made Australia his temporary home for the next year, which will allow me to help with his training program and make sure he’s as competitive as possible after being out of the car and not competing for over a year,” said van Gisbergen.

“It will be awesome to work with him and get him back up to speed and continue to build on what we achieved in 2019.”

Prince Jefri commented: “I’ve had a whole year without racing, so I’m really looking forward to jumping in the car again.

“Shane and I have been in touch quite a bit as well. Seeing him race last year made me quite jealous, but I’m really looking forward to racing with him this year.

“Two years ago was a learning curve for myself and the team and we created quite a good bond, and our aim is to clinch the championship this year. It’s going to be tough, but that’s our aim.”

Round 1 of GTWC Australia takes place at Phillip Island on Feb. 20-21.

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