Racer's local pit stop

V8 SUPERCAR driver Shane van Gisbergen visited Autopro in Cannonvale on Tuesday in preparation for his next big test on this year's racing circuit.

The 21-year-old rising star of racing made a stop off at the store to sign autographs for fans in the Whitsundays, while on his way to Townsville for this weekend's V8 Supercar race.

Having Van Gisbergen in town provided fans and aspiring young drivers with a great opportunity to meet such a talented and dedicated driver in person.

“It's really exciting because I've never seen a V8 Supercar driver before,” eight-year-old Elias Perris said.

Van Gisbergen will take to the track this Friday, in what is the Townsville event's second year.

After competing in the inaugural Townsville contest last year, the New Zealand-born driver is looking forward to this year's race.

“It's a pretty cool event and we're really looking forward to getting up there,” he said.

“We were quite strong up there last year and the car is in good shape, so there's no reason why we can't get a good result.

“It's a track that suits our car and the boys have been working really hard and have been doing a great job.” Van Gisbergen and his team also visited Mackay and Ayr before arriving in Townsville.

The driver said he was overwhelmed to see so much support for him and for V8 Supercars.

“Everyone around here is pretty excited and buzzed about the race,” he said.

“The local area really gets behind it. It's great to see that people are still behind it all.”

The 2010 Sucrogen Townsville 400 starts tomorrow, with the main race scheduled for 1.15pm on Sunday.

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