Andre Heimgartner, of Dannemora, has come away with a convincing finish at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at the weekend, just falling short of a top 10 ending.
Though, the 25-year old showed a resilient and mature drive for an 11th overall spot.
The NED Whisky entry placed P14 in Friday’s qualifying session which is where they would start the 1000km race. A further two practice sessions on Saturday enabled the Kiwi and his co-driver, Dylan O’Keeffe to put a few more laps under their belts ahead of the big finale.
Teammate O’Keeffe would start the race, gridding up alongside the #9 Penrite Racing entry Will Brown. Getting off to a great start, the #7 NED Mustang held position before handing over to Heimgartner, who drove into P10 in his first stint.
With plenty of uncertainty around whether the rain was coming or going, the Kelly Racing team opted for wet tyres, while the remainder of the field retained the slick tyre. This meant the NED Mustang took two additional pit stops over the rest of the field.
In true Bathurst style, the last 30 laps proved intense with two Safety Cars called with only moments to go, which would ultimately bring the field together. Heimgartner was able to make the most of this, as he pushed hard to contest and pick off some positions.
In the end, Heimgartner crossed the line in P11, an admirable finish to the 2020 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
“It was an interesting race, for us it was going pretty good and then unfortunately we made a mistake with choosing to go on the wet tyre during the shower. That was a bit disappointing, but we had a good comeback, the team performed really well which is positive,” said Heimgartner.
“The car was quite good during the race, Dylan did everything we asked of him in the race and kept out of trouble which was good to see and that really put me in a position where I was able to push and move up through the grid in my stints. There was obviously a lot of carnage out there from some young drivers, so I was really pleased with Dylan’s driving.
After a long 105 days on the road, the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is now finished for 2020, with Heimgartner now going to spend time with his family in New Zealand.
“It’s good to put a close on this year, the guys have obviously been away a long time and it’s great that they can now all go home and see their families after almost four months away. We’ll come back stronger next year, we learnt a lot in this season about what we need to go faster, so hopefully we can do that and move forward,” said Heimgartner.
Thursday October 15th
Practice 1 – 13th
Practice 2 (co-driver) – 17th
Practice 3 – 4th
Friday October 16
Practice 4 (co-driver) – 19th
Practice 5 – 14th
Qualifying – 14th
Saturday October 17
Practice 6 (co-driver) – 13th
Practice 7 – 11th
Top Ten Shootout – NA
Sunday October 18
Race 31 – 11th