Heimgartner charges to top 8

Andre Heimgartner finish the weekend on a high and hopes he can carry this momentum forward to the season finale in Newcastle later this month. Photo Nissan Motorsport

Dannemora’s Andre Heimgartner powered to an equal-season-best finish of 8th at his home-track of Pukekohe Raceway on Sunday after a strong showing in the #7 Plus Fitness Nissan Motorsport Altima.

Heimgartner started the day with his third Top Ten Shootout appearance (his first came in 2015 and his second in March this year), laying down a 1m 03.428s as the first shootout entrant to lay down a lap.

After starting the race from the fifth row on the grid, the 23-year-old Melbourne-based Kiwi moved quickly to be inside the top five by the first pit stop, re-joining in 11th position. In an intense race, he powered on and re-joined ninth after the second stop before making a move on Tickford racer Mark Winterbottom to finish the race in eighth position.

“Eighth position is a good result today. The car was speedy, we had priority in the pit stops as the leading Nissan racer on track, we were consistent, and things went my way so I was able to race hard and ensure we brought home a solid result,” Heimgartner said.

“To finish in the top eight home in New Zealand was pretty special too – I always love racing at home and I am really glad we could put on a good showing.

Earlier in the weekend, Heimgartner’s best practice result was 6th which was set ahead of qualifying 11th for Saturday’s race. The Plus Fitness driver got a good start to the Saturday outing, however ultimately double-stacking would hinder his progress and see him finish 18th.

He will next be on-track with Nissan Motorsport as part of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship for the Coates Hire Newcastle 500 from November 23-25.