The catalyst behind Heimgartner's turnaround

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 28/06/2022
  • By James Pavey

A run of consistency has Andre Heimgartner banging down the door on the top five.

Through six rounds, Heimgartner is ninth overall, and just 157 points from fifth-placed David Reynolds.

It’s a remarkable, rapid rise for the Kiwi, who was languishing in 18th after three rounds.

Heimgartner’s average finishing position across the Perth, Winton and Darwin rounds is 6.5.

The Brad Jones Racing recruit has reeled off nine straight top 10 finishes.

It’s a stark contrast to his start to the year, which featured just two top 10s in nine starts.

The key turnaround has been in Heimgartner’s one lap pace, which was unlocked in Perth.

Across the Sydney, Tasmania and Albert Park events, his average qualifying position was 15.2.

In Perth, Winton and Darwin, that has been more than halved to 6.8.

For four of the last six races, Heimgartner has qualified sixth or better.

Critically, Heimgartner’s pace hasn’t been a flash in the pan for BJR.

Teammate Bryce Fullwood put in his fastest weekend of the season, qualifying eighth and 11th.

Separate incidents in the races ensured Fullwood left his home event empty-handed.

Regardless, improved pace across both cars has now given BJR, and its recruits, a new lease of life towards the front of the grid.

Heimgartner embraces Jones at Winton

“He worked really hard; Winton was probably the bottom,” Fullwood’s engineer Phil Keed told Supercars’ Cool Down Lap podcast.

“He got really good payback straight away. He had genuinely good speed, we didn’t get the races how we wanted.

“Race pace was quite good. It was a big turnaround.”

BJR now heads to Townsville, where it has carried form in recent years.

Last year, Nick Percat raced to fourth in the first 250km race.

Todd Hazelwood later reeled off four straight top 10 finishes at the Reid Park Street Circuit.

Cars will hit the track for dual practice sessions next Friday. Purchase your NTI Townsville 500 tickets now.

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