‘Kiwi Wild Child’, Shane Van Gisbergen and V8 Supercar team, Tekno Autosports recently partnered with BRM and its online distributor watchpartners.com.au; an association which began earlier this year at the Darwin round of the V8 Supercar series, with the BRM and Watchpartners.com.au logos adorning the sides of the Tekno Autosports VF Commodore.
Just before the Supercheap Auto Bathhurst 1000 race, we had a chance to catch up with ‘The Gis’ and have his thoughts on the BRM brand and of course his love for watches..
What’s a typical day like in the life of Shane Van Gisbergen?
I live on the Gold Coast so most days are spent training, going for a run and enjoying the sunshine. Most days I’m at the workshop spending time with the mechanics and engineers and in my down time I enjoy tuning and racing my remote control car.
How did it all start for you?
I was raised on the rural fringe of Auckland, New Zealand and started pestering my dad since I was about 5 to buy me a Suzuki ATV to race. I started racing the ATV on natural terrain Moto-cross Tracks and then progressed onto Quarter Midget Speedway Racing followed by a brief stint in Go-Karts.
I won the NZ Formula Ford championship in 2006 and came a close second in the Toyota Racing Series in 2007 before getting my big break into V8 Supercars, signing with Stone Brothers Racing in 2008. I was only 17 at the time so it was a huge milestone to achieve at such a young age. Since then I haven’t looked back!
What do you love most about the world of motor racing & V8 Supercars? Which trends in V8 need to die out right now?
I just love racing, it’s that simple! Give me an engine and four wheels and I’ll race anything. It’s a massive adrenaline rush being in control of machines with crazy speed and power. When I’m not in a Supercar I’m often back home in New Zealand racing in other categories including some drifting which seems to be helping me well in wet weather races over here.
In terms of trends which need to die out right now? I’m not sure there is any to be honest, except maybe drivers who get upset over rubbing panels. We are here to put on a show and it frustrates me when others are afraid to race properly.
You’re already in the 7th season of racing.. How has V8 evolved over the years?
It’s definitely gotten a lot more competitive, with closer racing and qualifying. The difference between 1st and 25th is less than one second in most qualifying sessions, so it’s so important to string a quick lap together.
I think the new generation cars have been great for the sport too and seeing new manufacturers such as Nissan and Volvo join the grid is pretty cool. I never thought I’d be racing against a Volvo that’s for sure!
People often blog about the connection between cars and timepieces. Do you see a relationship?
Yeah for sure, the mechanical workings of a watch aren’t too dissimilar to a car or engine when you think about it. Each cog turns another and has a job to do. Getting the most out of a V8 Supercar is all about fine-tuning and accuracy; two qualities that I think underpin a handmade, high quality watch.
What is it about watchmaking that you find most interesting?
I like looking at the moving pieces and understanding how it works, the same way I enjoy and need to know the inner workings of my race car to get the most out of it. I’m always amazed at how they can get all those tiny working parts into such a small space, maybe my mechanics could learn a thing or two from watchmakers. Haha!
As a man of speed, how do you connect between your luxury watch choice and your driving talent?
I think a luxury watch should reflect your personality. You can tell a lot about a person by the type of watch they wear and I like the fact my BRM watch is inspired by motorsport, just like me!
What do you think of the current BRM collection?
It’s a great range with something for everyone, I’ve had plenty of fans compliment me on my watch and can’t believe they aren’t bigger here in Australia. I really like the small details that create a ‘motorsport’ feel, like the piston shaped lugs and straps, which look like tyres! They are very creative.
Personally I like the BRM Racing R50 watch, it’s a little out of my price range at the moment but it looks so cool! With the inner workings of the watch visible from the front and then designed to look like an engine, I’ve never seen anything like it. The level of detail is ridiculous. I also like the fact it’s available in black and yellow. They are our Team Tekno colours so that’s pretty cool too.
I don’t like to be too loud when it comes to fashion. Simple, relaxed and casual pretty much sums me up.
Which one is it for you? Leather straps or metal bracelets?
I prefer metal bracelets/straps
Bernard Richard brings his love for motor sport and the desire to express himself with the same style and aesthetic. One glimpse at the collection and you can tell that BRM’s involvement with the world of racing is more than just a theme or a look, its the mechanicals of race cars. The name BRM of course has an historic association with Formula One, with involvements that also include Indycar and International Sportcars Competition.
Watchpartners are the authorised exclusive distributors for Australia & New Zealand, for Fortis, Graham, Dubey & Schaldenbrand, CX Swiss Military, Deep Blue, Junkers, Zeppelin, Colori, Max & more.
For more details contact 03 9995 7390.