Stone Brothers Racing has agreed to release Shane van Gisbergen, driver for the #9 SP Tools Racing Team, following his expressed desire to leave V8 Supercars due to personal reasons.
Van Gisbergen’s current contract expires at the end of the 2012 season and a new three year contract was signed earlier in the year, which would have seen van Gisbergen stand as the longest serving driver at SBR.
Last week van Gisbergen communicated to the team that he wished to leave V8 Supercars and after much discussion SBR have agreed that it is in Shane’s best interest to release him from contract.
Statement from Shane van Gisbergen regarding his future in V8 Supercars:
“Today I am announcing that I will be leaving Stone Brothers Racing and the sport of V8 Supercars.
“Contrary to media reports, I do not wish to race for another V8 Supercar team and my decision to leave the sport has in no way been caused by Ross and Jimmy’s decision to switch manufacturers in 2013 or the team’s partnership with Erebus Motorsport.
“I am leaving V8 Supercars due to personal reasons which I do not wish to discuss in the public domain. I will be moving back home to New Zealand and have no fixed plans for the future.
“I have enjoyed five successful years with Stone Brothers Racing and was given a unique opportunity by the team to race V8s at a very young age, which I am very grateful for.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ross, Jimmy, my sponsors and my team for the time and money they invested in me during my V8 career,” said van Gisbergen.
Team Principal, Ross Stone:
“SBR are disappointed to be losing such an exceptional talent and while there has been much speculation in the media regarding the reasons behind Shane wanting to leave, it is not for want of driving for another V8 team.
“Shane’s motives to quit the sport are private and SBR have agreed that the best way forward for all parties is to release Shane from his current three year contract.
“Major sponsor of the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon, SP Tools, and SBR’s relationship will not be affected by Shane’s departure from the team and they will continue the three year contract they currently have.
“This decision will also not in any way affect the newly formed partnership between SBR and Erebus Motorsport, nor will it have any impact on the current sponsorship contracts we have.”
“At this point in time we are not in a position to say who the replacement driver for the #9 car will be, but this will be announced before the start of the 2013 season.”
“I ask that the media and public give Shane and his family the privacy they require at this time,” said Stone.
Van Gisbergen will race his final V8 Supercars race at the final round of the Championship Series at the Sydney Telstra 500 on Sunday 2nd December.