With a break between Winton and Darwin, supercars.com is analysing the drivers’ results and performances in this first part of the season. The racing is the closest in history, with nine different winners in 11 races.
Andre Heimgartner, Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Engineer: Barry Hay (also team manager)
Average qualifying position: 23.7 Average finishing position: 22.1 Championship position: 25 Points to leader: 739 Wins: 0 Pole positions: 0
Best result: 19th, Sunday Clipsal 500 Earned his highest finish for the season in the most challenging conditions the drivers have faced in a race this year.
Low point: 25th, Sunday Perth Thirteenth for Heimgartner and 10th for teammate Nick Percat in practice had the team hopeful of a good result, but minor mechanical issues niggled across the weekend, leaving the young Kiwi at the back of the field unable to capitalise.
For: Heimgartner is the youngest driver in the competition at 20 years of age. The Kiwi has gone from racing arguably the best car in the field last year in the Ford Falcon FG X to being part of a small under-funded team. He is getting on with it as best he can, balancing a ‘real job’ in finance with his racing career. Being involved behind the scenes with LDM keeps him motivated and he believes he has learned a lot going back to basics.
Against: Results talk. Clipsal was the only time Heimgartner has cracked the teens this year and it was a very variable race.
The team: LDM does not have anywhere near the resource of the big groups – Heimgartner’s engineer Barry Hay is also team manager and he admits he can’t give his young driver all the attention he deserves. LDM has also taken on development series and GT3 campaigns this year. Mechanical issues and inexperience behind the scenes are part of being in a developing team, but they can be costly and frustrating for the drivers.
Rating: D+ Youngest in the field must wrangle a result despite difficult circumstances.