2024 title "anyone's to win, says Andre Heimgartner
10 different drivers, seven different teams won races last season
Reigning champ Brodie Kostecki won't race at Round 1
Andre Heimgartner says the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship is anyone’s to win after major developments in the pre-season.
The 2023 season was awash with multiple winners, as well as on- and off-track controversy, leading to one of the most fascinating title fights in recent years.
Reigning champion Brodie Kostecki won’t be on the grid when the new season starts in Bathurst in two weeks’ times, opening the door for even more unpredictability.
Kostecki’s absence could open the door for a new champion to emerge in 2024, with James Courtney labelling Cam Waters and Chaz Mostert as early favourites.
Heimgartner, Brad Jones Racing’s spearhead driver, could also emerge as a dark horse for the title, with the Kiwi impressing in the first Gen3 season last year.
The Kiwi scored six podiums and a pole, but a costly DNF in the Great Race consigned him to seventh overall, where a top five was a genuine possibility.
For Heimgartner, the upcoming season could offer even more twists and turns than last year.
“We finished third in the teams’ championship and finished seventh overall, we should’ve been a bit further up,” Heimgartner told Supercars.com at pre-season testing at Winton Motor Raceway.
“We had the engine failure at Bathurst, which really hurt us, a lot of points there. We’re looking to chip away.
“I feel like this year, it’s almost anyone’s championship, even more than it was last year, with Brodie not being able to make the first round.
“It’s an exciting time to be in the championship, it’s an exciting time to watch the championship, so make sure you tune in, even if you’re busy.”
Heimgartner’s comments come after Shell V-Power Racing Team veteran Will Davison, who is heading into his 19th season, claimed the competitive depth in the field has never been closer in his time in Supercars.
Last year, 10 different drivers won races — the most since 2016 — while seven different teams visited victory lane.
“So many teams have lifted their game, there’s great depth through the whole pit lane. I’ve never, ever seen it like this,” Davison told Supercars.com earlier this week.
“People probably don’t understand how hard it is, the minute details we go to and how easily you can go from hero to zero.”
In an interview earlier this year, Matt Stone Racing recruit Nick Percat named six teams that should win races, but suggested all teams have a shot at victory with Gen3.
“Erebus, Triple Eight, Tickford and Groves are pretty fast, I think they’re the teams that will come out of the blocks fast,” Percat told Supercars.com.
“DJR and WAU have huge resources and budget too, so there’s no reason why they can’t be up there as well.
“Now with the Gen3 formula, there’s not many teams that can’t win races, which is cool. Credit to Supercars for getting cars in the wind tunnel.
“Also, different characteristics in the engines will create good racing too, because it’s hard to pass someone when they have the same equipment as you.”
Tickets for the Thrifty Bathurst 500 are on sale now on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.