• May 5, 2019

Andre Heimgartner put in a stellar drive in the final race of the Pirtek Perth SuperNight on Saturday evening only to have a potential top six finish taken away when a passing move by another driver went wrong.

Heimgartner had started the twelfth race of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship on the third row of the grid after a strong qualifying performance that Saturday morning.

After his final pit stop the 23 year old was sixth on the road and set to race to the end, however Scott Pye soon attempted an inside passing manoeuvre, bounced off the kerb and spun Heimgartner’s #7 Plus Fitness Nissan Altima.

The Melbourne-based Kiwi reacted quickly to expertly drive out of the 360 degree spin at the first opportunity to re-join the race, however a punctured tyre on his Kelly Racing machine forced him back to the pits. He would re-join two laps down on the rest of the field in 23rd position. Earlier in the event, Heimgartner had started Friday’s race 11 in 13th position, finishing 17th after struggling with a lack of speed and grip.

“Friday was a bit frustrating as it started not too badly but then we struggled for speed and a overall lack of grip,” Heimgartner explained.

“We worked on it overnight and came back Saturday with a much better package which we made the most of to qualify sixth for the final race of the weekend.

“In the race we had a really great start, picking up a couple of places and maintaining good speed through the first couple of stints.

“After what was supposed to be our final stop of the night we were in sixth position and all set to charge on to the end of the race and hopefully a good result.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, I was put into a spin by another driver at the final turn and that punctured one of my tyres and forced us back to the pits while a safety car had to be called to retrieve their stranded car.

“With the time lost there wasn’t much I could do but just try and bring it home.

“It is disappointing for sure, but we have to focus on the positives and up to that point it had been a great race and we were well and truly in the fight for a top six result. We just have to take those positives and keep on going to the next one.”

Heimgartner will next be on-track with Kelly Racing and the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship for the Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint across May 24-26.

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