Andre Heimgartner, Townsville


Andre Heimgartner and the crew of the #7 Plus Fitness Nissan Motorsport Altima crew have dug deep to bring home a pair of 12th positions at the weekend’s Watpac Townsville 400.

Testament to the commitment and perseverance of the 23-year-old and his crew, the results came despite a difficult qualifying session on Saturday and two tough opening laps on Sunday.

“On Friday we opened things with eighth fastest in practice one, before practice two and qualifying on Saturday then saw us in 21st which was far from ideal,” Heimgartner explained.

“We had a positive race on Saturday though – coming back from qualifying further down than we would have liked to bring it home in 12th position.

“While I lost a few spots on the opening lap by being overly cautious – which is always better than being in a first lap shunt – we kept our nose clean throughout the race and ensured we were in the box seat to take advantage of a late safety car for some fresh rubber and some good passes to finish just outside the top 10.

“On Sunday after some changes to the car we had a better go at qualifying, setting the 14th fastest time of the session. In the opening two laps of the race though I felt a bit like I was in a pin ball machine, everyone was racing hard but despite a bit of contact we managed to hang on and not let it be worse than it had to be.

“As part of that a bit of a wild ride following contact with Todd Hazelwood did send us back to 22nd, but we just put our heads down and chipped away across the rest of the race, again taking advantage of a late safety car to make sure we picked up a few extra spots before the end of the race for another 12th position.

“All in all both races were positive, while they each had their drawbacks we were able to come back for a decent result in both outings. Now we look ahead to QR and hopefully we can be on the front foot early on and bring it home further up the order.

“Coming from Melbourne, I am pretty excited for the championship to be staying on in Queensland – it should be a great meeting at Ipswich in a couple of weeks’ time.”

Heimgartner will next be on-track with Nissan Motorsport and the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship across July 20-22 at Queensland Raceway for the Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint.