‘Action-packed’ virtual F1 race for Heimgartner

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 06/04/2020
  • By Connor O'Brien

Andre Heimgartner has cherished the opportunity to race wheel-to-wheel with stars including Jenson Button in the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series this morning.

WATCH: HEIMGARTNER AND KELLY'S GUIDE TO BUILDING A RACING SIMULATOR

The Kelly Racing driver was invited to make a guest appearance for Renault, who field Daniel Ricciardo in real life, for the visit to Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.

The 20-car grid comprised of current F1 drivers Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Alex Albon, Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, plus a host of former drivers.

Heimgartner showed reasonable pace in qualifying to secure 15th on the grid, directly behind seventh-row starters Esteban Gutierrez and 2009 world champion Button.

From there, the Kiwi found himself inside the top 10 by lap 2 before a rather memorable collision sent him down the order – ultimately crossing the line in 16th.

“We had a good start, were running just inside the top 10 and then got sort of taken out there by Jenson, which is pretty cool to say!” said Heimgartner.

“Not every day that happens, but yeah overall really action-packed, had some good battles with Jenson, Latifi and guys like that, so to be able to race with those guys and have fun was really good.

“Got a penalty for speeding in pitlane but considering we only had a few days to get this together, I think it’s been as good as we can expect and it was really interesting racing against these guys.”

It capped a busy weekend of international simulator racing for Supercars drivers.

Scott McLaughlin won the IndyCar iRacing Challenge event at Alabama on Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after Will Davison placed ninth in a 250km Elite Racing League heat at the Indianapolis oval circuit.

The first round of the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries will take place on Wednesday night.

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