Shane van Gisbergen will not return to McLaren GT as a factory driver next year, with the Kiwi having been confirmed in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 for February’s Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The reigning Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Champion, who claimed victories at Monza and Paul Ricard with Garage 59, has cited date clashes with his Australian Supercars commitments as the reason for not continuing with the British manufacturer for a third year in 2017.
Both the Endurance Cup season-opener at Monza and the Total 24 Hours of Spa clash with Supercars events next year.
SpeedCafe.com reports that van Gisbergen has signed with Scott Taylor Motorsport in defense of his Bathurst 12 Hour title, where he’ll pilot a Mercedes-AMG GT3 alongside Craig Baird and a likely to-be-confirmed factory driver in the newly established GT3 Pro class.
“I’m looking forward to a different challenge,” van Gisbergen told SpeedCafe. “I think it’s a pretty good place to try and defend the title up there.
“Driving with Bairdo, he’s obviously very good at the moment. Last year in the McLaren he was quick at Bathurst and he’s shown good pace in the Merc.”
Van Gisbergen will get his first laps in the car early next year, with team owner Scott Taylor indicating that a second AMG GT3 entry for the race is also possible.
Taylor’s efforts have previously run by Erebus Motorsport, although it’s understood another team will instead field the car next year.