Andre Heimgartner eager for 2024 return to New Zealand
Heimgartner one of four Kiwis set to race at Taupō next April
Ticket sales for 2024 ITM Taupō Event officially opened today
The excitement of a return to his home race continues to build for Brad Jones Racing’s Andre Heimgartner, as ticket sales for Supercars’ 2024 visit to Taupō International Motorsport Park are now on sale.
Tickets for the highly-anticipated inaugural Supercars race at Taupō, went on sale at 10:00 a.m. NZDT this morning.
The Repco Supercars Championship returns to New Zealand with its first ever event at Taupō, located in the centre of the North Island, on the April 19-21 weekend.
It will be the first Supercars event in New Zealand since Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen prevailed over Cam Waters in a dramatic battle for the win in the final Supercars race at Pukekohe Park Raceway.
With van Gisbergen headed to the USA in 2024 to pursue NASCAR aspirations, the door opens for drivers like Heimgartner to take the mantle of the local hero.
“Yeah, it's very exciting with the tickets going on sale, think everyone will be grabbing them up,” Heimgartner said.
“My friends, my family, that's what makes it so special for us New Zealand.
"You get all that support from your friends, your family and even the whole motorsport community that you've been around your whole life, so for sure it's one on the calendar we love.”
The 28-year old from Auckland finished a close third in that finale Pukekohe race in 2022, and will no doubt be eager to return to the rostrum when the championship heads to Taupō next year.
Supercars’ return to New Zealand will also see the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy awarded once again to the driver who scores the most points across the event.
As a Kiwi driving the same #8 BJR entry as the late Richards did in his final Supercars seasons, the coveted trophy holds a special meaning for the Gold Coast resident.
“We almost got it last year, I think we finished third or something for the weekend there,” Heimgartner said.
“And driving the #8, for sure there is a big emphasis on that.
“It's sort of a bit of heritage that I think our whole team embraces when we go to New Zealand, or even when you go somewhere like Darwin and he was on pole and had great success there.
“You feel that sort of presence there, so it will definitely be something that's on our mind.”
Heimgartner will be one of four New Zealanders set to be on the grid in Taupō next year, joined by newly-crowned Repco Bathurst 1000 winner Richie Stanaway and 21-year old Matt Payne in an all Kiwi line-up at Grove Racing, while Dunlop Series standout Ryan Wood will make his Supercars debut with Walkinshaw Andretti United.
“It was a bit worrying for a minute there, I thought there was only going to be me and Matt Payne in the Supercars field,” Heimgartner laughed.
“But a couple more have flown in, so yeah, [it’s] great to have Richie and Ryan Wood. I think we're all pretty speedy, and those guys have a lot to prove as well, and they're going to have good equipment.
“So yeah, it'll be great for New Zealand motorsport to have four top Supercars drivers, and hopefully we can deliver.”
Tickets to the 2024 ITM Taupō Event are now on sale and can be purchased via Ticketek NZ, with grandstand options as well as single-day and multi-day General Admission tickets available.
Heimgartner sits sixth in the Repco Supercars Championship with just one event remaining in the 2023 season.
The VAILO Adelaide 500 takes place November 23-26 on the streets of Adelaide, where 25-year old Brodie Kostecki will look to fend off a charging van Gisbergen to claim his first Supercars championship.