Dannemora local Andre Heimgartner will carry the championship lead into the final round of the BNT V8s Championship in March following the weekend’s penultimate round of the series.
The Circuit Chris Amon round at Manfeild was held over 9-11 February and saw the 22-year-old Nissan Motorsport Supercar driver take out first, third and fifth in tricky conditions to secure second for the round and maintain his title lead.
“Overall it was not a bad weekend, we showed lots of speed which was really positive and to be leading the championship ahead of the final round is something we are very happy about,” Heimgartner said.
“The weather really played a part in the weekend’s proceedings. Practice went to plan for us, but we went into qualifying not having had any dry laps and we came away second fastest.
“In the first race we started on the outside and fell in behind Nick Ross going into turn one before managing to get past him going into turn three on the second lap. From there we were able to control the race and take the win, while extending our championship buffer.
“Race two was a bit of a struggle as our tyres were not quite as good as those of everyone else, but we made the best of what we had. We started second and put the pressure on at the start. Later though I would be overtaken and then soon after we had a torrential downpour which saw the race finish under safety car with me in third.
“The final race was a real interesting one — I started second last thanks to the reverse grid and got a good start into turn one, going around the outside of nearly everyone to move to second position behind Jason Bargwanna.
“Then I was able to pass him going into the last corner of that lap and controlled the race before it started raining again — this made it quite tricky on slick tyres but I was maintaining it before unfortunately I was turned around at turn one (the other driver received a post-race penalty for the contact). After that contact we had some issues with the car so I had to make a trip to pit lane to check that all was okay, which saw us bring the car home in fifth.
“It is never fun being taken out while leading a race, but at the end of the day we had a good weekend and most importantly, we left Manfeild leading the points tally ahead of the final round at Hampton Downs next month (9-11 March).”
Before he gets to Hampton Downs, Heimgartner has some other exciting racing exploits on his plate — namely, his first Supercars round as a driver with Nissan Motorsport.
“I have my first test with Nissan Motorsport coming up this Friday, and I am really excited to get in the car and turn some laps ahead of the Adelaide 500 (March 1-4),” Heimgartner said.