Kiwi High on adrenalin ahead of the season opener
Andre Heimgartner is approaching the 2021 season full of confidence. Despite a recent injury set back, his enthusiasm is at an all time high. Big changes over the off season included a new teammate and a new ‘boss’ with the announcement of Stephen Grove joining the team as a stake holder. But the New Zealander who now resides in Melbourne only sees the positives. “Sometimes too much change can cause an upheaval within a race team. But when I heard rumblings of David Reynolds potentially joining to the team, I was really excited. To lose Rick Kelly was a substantial loss – so I was quietly hoping for someone to take over from Rick with experience,” said Heimgartner.
"Dave and I were teammates at Prodrive when I was in my first full season of Supercars. We share the same management too and get along really well.” Reynolds joining the team wasn’t the only significant change that would take place. “I was in New Zealand the whole time this was all taking place when I learnt that Alistair McVein (Reynolds’ engineer) was also joining the team. Then Dennis left Erebus Motorsport to join Kelly Racing too – and later Penrite also joined the team – it was full on,” explained the Kiwi. Heimgartner kept himself busy in New Zealand competing in various races and later competing in the New Zealand Grand Prix where he enjoyed a podium finish against fellow Supercar star Shave Van Gisbergen. “Todd called me and told me about Stephen Grove joining the business – I thought it was terrific. I’ve known the Grove’s for a while. They love their motorsport and they can bring more resource and experience to the commercial side of the business too. I have no doubt this will all work well for the team,” said the 26-year-old. Since returning to Australia, Heimgartner and Reynolds have tested the Mustangs at Winton and improvements are already being noticed. “Alistair has already been collaborating with my engineer Dylan over summer – so we were able to apply some of those theories at the test day. I’m confident we will see gains – and if I can work closely with Dave, I think 2021 can be a really exciting year for our team and all of our partners,” he admitted. The Repco Supercars Championship launches at Bathurst February 26 with practice kicking off on Friday with both Saturday and Sunday hosting qualifying, a top ten shootout and a 40-lap race on each day.