Heimgartner: Winton podium 'purely on speed'

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 22/05/2022
  • By Charlie Bullis

An elated Andre Heimgartner was "over the moon" with a podium finish at the Pizza Hut Winton SuperSprint.

Heimgartner scored his second podium for Brad Jones Racing in Race 15 on Sunday.

It came after the 26-year-old recorded his best qualifying result to date with BJR, starting third for the final 36-lap sprint.

The #8 R&J Batteries Commodore driver has shown improved form throughout the 2022 season.

The New Zealander scored a surprise podium last time out in Perth.

Despite not being able to hold off a charging Shane van Gisbergen, Heimgartner was buoyed by a podium based "purely on speed".

"[It feels] pretty good," Heimgartner said.

"This one was purely on speed, which is nice; Perth, we got lucky with the Safety Car.

"It's just a credit to the guys, we have turned it around from the start of the weekend.

"We were 17th and 18th and we slowly chipped away between the last race and this race.

"We managed to change a car and make a big step forward with our race pace, as you saw there.

"I’m over the moon, I think it's just the consistency that we need.

"I’m looking forward to the rest of the year, and slowly chipping away, and seems like we have found something good."

Heimgartner pushed past van Gisbergen off the line in Race 15 and slotted in behind eventual race winner Cam Waters.

The BJR driver ran long on his Dunlop Super Soft tyres, with van Gisbergen reclaiming the position on lap 14.

Heimgartner would regain second when van Gisbergen headed in for three fresh tyres on lap 23, before the points leader retook the position at Turn 10.

The result came after Heimgartner impressed in Saturday’s dual qualifying sessions.

Heimgartner’s spirited battles earned high praise from his fellow countryman.

"Andre’s great, he races really well," van Gisbergen said.

“He knew when to concede out of the pits, but the battle when I caught him was good too.

"I really enjoyed myself."

Heimgartner enjoyed the on-track exchanges with van Gisbergen.

"It was good," Heimgartner said of the battle.

"I knew Shane was probably a little bit too fast for us in race pace, so I didn't make it too difficult.

"I didn’t want to battle him too much to drag myself back to Reynolds.

"I knew Reynolds was the main person we were battling with, but it's a good start.

"I've been struggling a bit with this car, the different clutch from the Ford to the Holden.

"It's been a bit of a battle, so to finally get a good start when I actually needed it was pretty good and for the team as well.

"We think they will have a few beers tonight."

The 2022 season will resume in Darwin next month. Purchase your tickets now.

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