Challenging weekend for Heimgartner in Townsville
Andre Heimgartner has had a difficult weekend at the Robson Civil Townsville SuperSprint. The 25-year old qualified as high as 15th with a best place race finish of 17th, certainly not where the Kiwi had hoped.
Given it was the second consecutive weekend at the Reid Park Circuit, the team were hoping for positive results given they had additional data to work with. After two thirty-minute practice sessions, Heimgartner rolled into qualifying and managed to go through to Q2 and was quick enough for 15th.
Come the race, bad luck struck for the #7 Mustang, as Heimgartner suffered from an engine misfire on the first lap. Andre was able to limp the NED Whisky Mustang to complete the race and finished up 18th.
“It was a real shame that we had dramas with the engine misfiring, it was just one of those things where we could come in and try and fix it, but we’d lose more time so it was better off to just keep going and manage the best we could. It wasn’t doing any harm to the engine, it was just down on power,” admitted Heimgartner.
“We were lucky that it didn’t affect us the entire race, so there were some points throughout that we were able to try and move forward.”
The Kelly Racing team worked hard to rectify the engine issue Saturday night and into Sunday morning; which ultimately cut into qualifying. Heimgartner battled through the back-to-back sessions and could only manage 24th and 18th ahead of the final two races.
Thankfully, the team were able to rectify the engine misfire issue and Heimgartner was able to improve on his starting position in the opening laps. Unfortunately, bad luck struck again in his pit stop with a rattle gun failure, putting him to the rear of the field which is where he would finish.
The final race of the day saw the #7 Mustang pick up only one position in 17th after struggling to find pace and the correct car set up.
“It was definitely a tough weekend. We’re still trying to find the set-up window at the moment, especially in qualifying,” said the 25-year old.
“Unfortunately, we’re leaving here without really narrowing in on any particular setup that works which is a little disappointing, but the guys have worked really hard all weekend and the pitstops are improving as well.
“I’m looking forward to a bit of a break now, it’s been four extremely busy weeks, so I’m looking forward to reviewing everything and having some time to relax and then hopefully having a better run at Tailem Bend. We had good pace there during the test day earlier in the year and even last year, so hopefully we can put everything together and have a good weekend.”
The Virgin Australia Supercars now have two weeks before heading to South Australia for a double header at The Bend.
Saturday 5th September
Practice 1 – 6th
Practice 2 – 20th
Qualifying Race 22 – 15th
Race 22 – 18th
Sunday 6th September
Qualifying Race 23 – 24th
Qualifying Race 23 – 18th
Race 23 – 24th
Race 24 – 17th