Valuable weekend for Heimgartner at Symmons Plains
Andre Heimgartner has had a character building weekend at the 2021 Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint, after having kicked off the season on a high in the NED Racing Mustang.
Two practice sessions kicked off the weekend, followed by knock-out style qualifying. Heimgartner was knocked out of the first qualifying session and had to settle for P23 for the first of the weekend’s three sprint races, with one on Saturday on two on Sunday.
Starting the Saturday’s race at the rear of the grid, the 25-year-old was determined to fight his way through the pack. Although making progress, the #7 NED Racing Mustang engine stalled during a pitstop, costing Heimgartner valuable track time. It thwarted any real progress through the field and saw Andre finish in a frustrating 22nd.
“Saturday was a tough day. It was a little frustrating, but it was also a learning experience. We were trying some new things with the car and for some reason it just wasn’t working on our car and so we struggled for pace,” said Heimgartner.
“We had a mechanical issue happen during the pitstop with the engine stalling, which Dave [Reynolds, Kelly Grove Racing teammate] also experienced, but it didn’t really change the result on my side of the garage because we were at the back struggling for pace.”
Teams were in for a busy day with two qualifying and two races on Sunday, with Heimgartner hopeful that changes made to the car would improve his speed. The Kiwi managed to find some pace and qualified the #7 Mustang in a much stronger P13 for the second race of the weekend. Unfortunately, he slipped back in the final qualifying session and P17 was all he could manage to set himself up for the final race.
Starting the race from the seventh row on the grid, the NED Racing Mustang got off to a positive start, navigating and missing the race start carnage. Heimgartner was able to settle into a rhythm and finished an impressive tenth.
With positivity into the final race, Heimgartner’s qualifying position of P17 didn’t give him a great start. He was unable to better his race position and finished the race in a disappointing 22nd place.
“Sunday was another pretty tough day for us. We made some changes to our car coming into the weekend and it just didn’t seem to like it,” said Heimgartner.
“We spent most of the weekend outside the window and searching for the right direction, which is difficult when you have very limited track time.
“We had one decent result finishing tenth in Sunday’s first race, and Dave was consistently in the top-ten all weekend, so we’ll have to look at that when we get back home and see what we can takeaway to implement for the next round.”
“I managed to get a podium at The Bend last year, so I’m looking forward to going back there and hopefully with an even better car.”
The next round of the 2021 Repco Supercars series will be the OTR SuperSprint at The Bend Motorsport Park, on 8-9 May.