Heimgartner continues consistency at The Bend
The Supercars have completed round 10 at South Australia’s Tailem Bend circuit and Andre Heimgartner has come away with reasonable results, finishing a best place of tenth in Sunday’s first race.
With a changed track layout to the previous weekend, the back section of the track was replaced by a tight and technical hairpin and a much shorter track known as the West circuit.
The NED Whisky Mustang came out firing in the first two practice sessions, claiming eighth and tenth, before making it through to the first qualifying session and placing 11th ahead of the race. Starting the race from just outside the top 10, Heimgartner managed to hold his position and opted to pit early on lap six. Unlike last weekend, the undercut strategy didn’t quite play into the 25-year old’s hands and the #7 Mustang lost track position to several cars when re-joining. Unable to keep up with the top ten runners due to worn tyres, Heimgartner crossed the line in P14.
“Unfortunately, we went the wrong way with setup for the race and didn’t really have the pace to challenge the cars ahead,” said Heimgartner.
“We also spent majority of the race in traffic, which made it difficult to push in clear air and make up ground before and after the pit stop.”
The Kelly Racing crew made some changes overnight and it was straight back to it with two back-to-back 10-minute qualifying sessions. Heimgartner ran relatively well, fast enough to put the car in P13 and P15 ahead of the final two races.
A chaotic race 29 saw the NED Mustang drop down to 17th in the opening laps, however with smart race strategy, Heimgartner was able to push through the field as the race went on and his tyres came up to temperature and finished the race in an impressive tenth.
The final race of the weekend saw Heimgartner start from 15th and although Andre got off to a great start, traffic held him up after the completion of compulsory stops. Unable to find many passing opportunities, Heimgartner had to settle for 14th, one up from his starting position.
“Overall, it wasn’t too bad of a weekend. We just missed the setup window a little, but we were able to try different things and managed to find some things that worked and some that didn’t,” said the 25-year old.
“It’s onwards to Bathurst now which I’m looking forward to, but first we have a couple of big weeks preparing and also getting Dylan in the car and feeling comfortable. But I can’t wait.”
The Supercars have a couple of weeks turnaround before taking on the final race of the season, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 15-18 October.
Saturday 26th September
Practice 1 – 8th
Practice 2 – 10th
Qualifying (Race 28) – 11th
Race 28 – 14th
Sunday 27th September
Qualifying (Race 29) – 13th
Qualifying (Race 30) – 15th
Race 29 – 10th
Race 30 – 14th