Andre Heimgartner turned plenty of heads on Saturday at the Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint, charging from a starting position of 21st to finish the 120km race in 8th position.
The strong results continued in Sunday’s 200km race, where the 23 year old ran inside the top ten throughout before bringing his #7 Plus Fitness Racing Nissan Altima home in 11th despite battling tyre wear in the latter stages.
“On Saturday I was pretty happy to come home in eighth position, we never thought that would be the outcome starting from 21st,” Heimgartner said.
“In qualifying on Saturday it was just one of those things where you are running in the wet and we just didn’t quite get a lap in, and once you miss out on that first qualifying group you are really up against it.
“To turn that around and have one of the best races I believe I have had was really great – we tried an alternative strategy and it worked, and we banked some really important points as well.
“On Sunday tyres were a bit of an issue for us, but we got it all the way through to the final group of qualifying for a P10 starting position despite that. I the race we decided to try a similar strategy to Saturday and get some clean air and utilise the speed we had on Saturday, but unfortunately in that last stint we were really struggling and when the safety car came out right near the end it really just compounded our issue.
“Up until then we had been looking like we were on-track for another top ten result, but that safety car kind of put the final nail in the coffin and I was left really fighting for position.
“Given that, I think 11th was a good result and combined with the eighth of Saturday I am really happy with the outcome overall – especially when you consider that when you come to a place like Winton there is normally a lot of damage and a lot of drama! To leave with no damage and in that position with the championship points that go along with it was important and something positive for us.”
Heimgartner will next be on-track with Kelly Racing for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship for the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown across 14-16 June, 2019.
“I always enjoy going to Darwin and especially after the cold weather of Benalla and Melbourne, I am really looking forward to the heat!” laughed Heimgartner.
Before he heads to Darwin, Heimgartner and Kelly Racing will be doing battle at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit across June 6-9, for round two of the TCR Australia Championship where the Melbourne-based Kiwi drives the #777 Kangan Institute Subaru WRX Sti.
“Round one of the TCR Australia Championship was a tricky one for us with some mechanical gremlins, but I am looking forward to getting into it again for round two and hopefully turning the potential we showed towards the end of round one into good results at Phillip Island,” Heimgartner said.