Andre Heimgartner consistently inside top ten at the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint
Andre Heimgartner showed speed throughout the entire weekend at the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint, finishing inside the top ten all weekend, aside from Sunday’s final race in P11. Unfortunately though, the 25-year-old couldn’t convert his speed into a podium finish.
The Kiwi was hot off the blocks straight away and qualified 7th ahead of the first race. The NED Whisky Mustang settled into 5th early on in the race, before pitting and dropping him back into P9. Fortunately, Andre was able to pick up a position and ended up 8th.
“We had a pretty decent day Saturday. We were able to try a few things during the practice sessions, which is ultimately where we found our initial roll-out package worked best, which is what we ran with in qualifying,” said Heimgartner.
“It was a little disappointing we were sitting there in P5 but didn’t have the car speed to stay there, but overall it was a positive start to the weekend, with both cars showing solid speed.”
In true Melbourne-style, the drivers were thrown some wet weather on Sunday, proving tricky conditions on an already rough surface circuit. Two ten-minute qualifying sessions saw the grids set for the two afternoon races, where Heimgartner qualified P5 in both sessions.
With just laps to go, Heimgartner was running as high as third for the second race of the weekend and with a potential podium in sight, the 25-year-old was pushed wide by Chaz into Turn 1 and ultimately crossed the line in 5th.
The final race on Sunday proved intense and the Kelly Grove Racing team opted for the longer run for the #7 NED Whisky Mustang, pitting later in the race. A few dramas during the pitstop saw Heimgartner re-join a little further down the field, having to battle his way through the pack, P11 was all he could manage.
“The last race on Sunday was a little disappointing, we just didn’t have the pace to compete up the front and push forward. We’re going to have to look into why that was so we can improve for next time,” said Heimgartner. ”Overall though, it was a pretty positive weekend for the team, both cars were pretty competitive in both races and both were up the front throughout the weekend so it’s a really positive step for the team.
“Hopefully we can make another step forward as we head to Tasmania, i’m looking forward to it!”
The Repco Supercars head to Tasmania for the third round of the Championship, April 10-11.