Heimgartner hungry for Townsville podium
Andre Heimgartner heads to Queensland this weekend as he aims to consolidate his recent pole and victory at The Bend in South Australia. Despite a disappointing round at the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown, the popular New Zealander remains buoyant about his chances on the tight street circuit in Townsville. “Darwin didn’t go to plan,” reflected the NED Whisky Mustang driver.
“We came up off a pole position and a win and I was sitting well inside the top 10 of the championship.” Unfortunately both Kelly Grove Racing entries struggled through the Darwin round and leading into this weekend’s NTI Townsville 500, both drivers sit outside the top 10 of the Repco Supercars Championship. “It was really disappointing. But we have to remember that only a few weeks earlier we had both our cars performing really well – so we just need to stay focussed on what we’re capable of and stay positive. I’m actually really looking forward to it,” Heimgartner said. Heimgartner has been in the headlines lately with regular speculation around his contract with Kelly Grove Racing. But the 26-year-old remains confident he will remain at the team that gave him the opportunity to return to Supercars as a full-time driver. “I’ve had regular chats with Stephen (Grove) and Todd (Kelly) and we all want to continue down the path we’re heading. We’ve already seen the benefits at The Bend and with Dave joining us this year, we’ll only get better. I’m sure we’ll have something to announce soon,” admitted the Kiwi racer. The Repco Supercars Championship kicks off Friday 9 July, with two 40-minute practice sessions. A bustling weekend of action includes a qualifying session on Saturday followed by a return to the popular Top 10 Shootout format, closing with an 88-lap race. The Sunday program features another qualifying session, followed by another Top 10 Shootout which will ultimately determine the starting grid for Race 16 of the Championship.