Heimgartner impresses in Nissan debut

Andre Heimgartner has impressed in his first race weekend with Nissan Motorsport in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. Photo supplied: Nissan Motorsports.

Dannemora’s Andre Heimgartner has impressed in his first race weekend with Nissan Motorsport in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

Heimgartner qualified 11th fastest in his first ever qualifying session with the team on Saturday, improving on that on Sunday to be in the top 10 shootout with the seventh fastest lap time.

“It was pretty good to be into the 10 ten shootout in only my second qualifying session with Nissan Motorsport, unfortunately my time was voided for a kerb strike – we would have been fifth or sixth I think if it hadn’t been for that. It is what it is though. The positive is that the car was pretty fast,” Heimgartner said.

When it came to racing, the 22-year-old Kiwi showed plenty of promise – running well into the top 10 during Saturday’s race before coming to grief avoiding a spinning competitor in the last third of the race. He would persevere through leg-numbing seat issues to move back up from 21st to 17th by the end of the race. On Sunday he would start 10th, ahead of a strong first half of the race before engine issues would intervene.

“We had some dramas with the seat fit on Saturday, putting pressure on the wrong areas and causing a fair bit of pain and my legs to go numb which you certainly don’t want around the Adelaide 500 circuit,” said Heimgartner.

Heimgartner will next be on-track with Nissan Motorsport in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at the Australian Grand Prix from March 21 to 24. Before then however, he will fly over to his native New Zealand to compete in the final round of the 2017/2018 BNT V8s championship at Hampton Downs this weekend (March 9-11) – he is currently leading the championship.

“I am looking forward to getting back to New Zealand and hopefully we can clinch the title over there,” Heimgartner said.

“Hampton Downs is an awesome facility and I can’t wait to see what we can do there.”