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Heimgartner cracks career-best in title pursuit

10 Jul 2023
Kiwi on career-best run of form with fifth podium
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Andre Heimgartner is excited about Brad Jones Racing’s position midway through 2023, with the Kiwi enjoying his career-best season.

Heimgartner raced his #8 R&J Batteries Camaro to third in Sunday’s NTI Townsville 500 finale.

The New Zealander had to work for it, first fighting past Broc Feeney before battling Brodie Kostecki.

He came home to record his fifth podium of the season, adding to his trophies in Melbourne, Tasmania and Darwin.

The haul betters his previous best of four podiums in a season, recorded last year in his first season with BJR.

Critically, with Chaz Mostert suffering a DNF, and Cam Waters only 15th, Heimgartner is now just seven points from the top five in the championship.

BJR’s best championship result is sixth, recorded by Fabian Coulthard in 2013. 10 of Heimgartner's 14 podiums have now come with BJR.

Heinmgarter’s form was backed up by BJR teammate Bryce Fullwood, who finished eighth and ninth in Townsville to come within 13 points of the top 10 in the championship.

"I think it was pretty solid. We obviously moved forward,” Heimgartner said after Sunday's race.

"We had good race pace, just couldn't qualify yesterday, qualified 17th.

"We made some adjustments overnight and it was quite good, some things are starting to line up.

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"Now team obviously did a great job as well with a top 10 in both races.

"So we're working really well together and there's been good progress. Same thing happened in Darwin.

"So I'm really excited about where we are at the moment.”

The final hurdle for Heimgartner is a maiden victory for BJR, having now finished second four times and third five times since joining the team.

His next chance will come at Sydney Motorsport Park, where BJR set the pace in pre-season testing in February.

Anton De Pasquale was too far up the road on Sunday, with the Shell V-Power Racing Team driver taking his first win since Darwin 2022.

Heimgartner was happy to hang onto a fifth podium of the season, but admitted he was frustrated to have to battle the likes of Feeney so hard in his pursuit of victory.

“I had to fight some other cars harder than I anticipated earlier in the stint, they didn’t want to give up,” he said.

“I had to use my tyres up, we struggled in the last stint yesterday.

“It was a bit frustrating, but it was what it was, just happy to hang on in the end."

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight on July 28-30. Tickets are on sale now.

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