Murphy: Heimgartner's Taupō win the 'race of his life'

29 Apr
"Man, he will never, ever forget that moment, regardless of how many wins he gets from here"
  • Murphy labels Heimgartner's Taupō win the “race of his life"

  • Heimgartner snapped three-year winless drought at Taupō Super400

  • Kiwi driver claimed first win for Brad Jones Racing

Greg Murphy has hailed Andre Heimgartner’s Taupō breakthrough as the “race of his life,” saying the emotion of the victory was “enormous.”

Heimgartner snapped a three-year winless drought at the ITM Taupō Super400 in a thrilling wet-race classic, with the Aucklander claiming his first win for Brad Jones Racing.

The 28-year-old set the benchmark in difficult conditions and outlasted a mid-race challenge from Chaz Mostert to score just his second career win.

Critically, the record books will now show a Kiwi as the winner of the first Supercars race at Taupō, just as it was at the first race at Pukekohe in 2001, courtesy of Murphy. Heimgartner also joined Murphy, Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen as the only Kiwis to win on home soi.

Fittingly, Murphy —who won nine races at Pukekohe between 2001 and 2005 — interviewed Heimgartner in PIRTEK Victory Lane after the race.

Final lap: Heimgartner salutes Kiwi fans with circle work

“The race on Saturday was epic, and it’s awesome the fans stuck around,” Murphy said on The Platform radio show.

“It was a little bit tough, and luckily it wasn’t too cold, it was just damp and wet. But they were treated to an awesome race.

"To top it out, Andre Heimgartner driving the race of his life, really, to get only his second race win in the championship. The emotion of that was enormous.

"Man, he will never, ever forget that moment, regardless of how many wins he gets from here. That one will be very special for him.”

It was BJR’s first win since Sydney 2020, with Heimgartner recovering from a poor qualifying result on Sunday to narrowly miss out on an emotional Jason Richards Memorial Trophy triumph.

heimgartner podium taupo 2024 win

Team owner Jones reiterated Heimgartner’s “amazing” job with the team since the Kiwi joined in 2022, but knows his team has more work to do to close the gap in dry conditions.

“We certainly got our mojo back in the wet,” Jones told the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast.

"I thought we were much more competitive this weekend. Still got a bit of work to do in the dry. I feel like when the car's got a full tank of juice, it's not fast enough.

"It's a nice bounce back. It's a nice recovery. It's extremely frustrating to miss out on that [Richards] trophy by a few points. But, we'll come back next year and see what happens.

"Andre's doing an amazing job and it was great to see him get his first win with us.”

Heimgartner moved from 16th to eighth in the points over the Taupō weekend, and is 317 points behind championship leader Will Brown heading to Perth on May 17-19.

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