The news of Shane van Gisbergen’s departure from Supercars came as a shock to many fans and competitors alike. Despite being contracted until 2024, Triple Eight, the team he has called home for the past seven years, has agreed to grant the Kiwi driver an early release. This move follows van Gisbergen’s revelation of his intention to make a full-time move to NASCAR after his Cup Series victory in Chicago. It seems that the exit of the reigning Supercars champion was all but a formality, with Triple Eight managing director Jamie Whincup stating earlier in July that he wouldn’t stand in the way of his teammate’s aspirations.
Van Gisbergen’s departure marks the end of an era at Triple Eight. During his seven-year stint with the powerhouse Supercars squad, he established himself as one of the most successful drivers in the series’ recent history. With three title successes in 2016, 2021, and 2022, he has proven time and time again his immense skill and talent on the track. Van Gisbergen also has a shot at bowing out of Supercars with a fourth championship, as he currently sits third in the title race, only 54 points adrift of the top spot with five rounds remaining. His impact on the sport and his achievements will not be soon forgotten.
Stepping into van Gisbergen’s shoes at Triple Eight in 2024 will be 25-year-old Will Brown. Brown recently secured an early exit from his Erebus contract, which was originally meant to run until the end of the 2024 campaign. Currently second in the standings to his teammate Brodie Kostecki, Brown has shown impressive skills and potential throughout the season. He has signed a three-year deal with Triple Eight, ensuring his presence in the Chevrolet squad until the end of the 2026 season.
Triple Eight has high hopes for Brown, as he has been on their radar for many years. His performance in the Super2 championship, where he drove an ex-Triple Eight car, caught their attention early on. Not only does Brown bring excitement to the track with his driving skills, but he also possesses a personable demeanor that aligns well with the Triple Eight culture. Furthermore, the fact that Brown and Feeney grew up racing together and are friends away from the circuit is seen as a bonus. Brown’s addition to the team brings a fresh perspective and new dynamics to the Triple Eight lineup.
While the departure of van Gisbergen creates a void in the team, Triple Eight remains determined to excel in the ongoing season. Their immediate focus is on the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships, and they acknowledge the challenge they have ahead. There is no doubt that the team plans to give its all and continue the legacy of success they have built in Supercars. Van Gisbergen’s departure may mark the end of an era, but it also opens the door to new opportunities and the possibility for Triple Eight to further solidify its position as a force to be reckoned with in the sport.