Heimgartner wary of rivals despite test pace

23 Feb 2023
'People play games… they don't show their hand'
2 mins by James Pavey

Andre Heimgartner isn’t looking too deeply into his test-topping pace in Sydney, suggesting rivals were ‘playing games’.

Heimgartner was quickest in both sessions in his #8 R&J Batteries Camaro on Wednesday.

The Kiwi topped the morning session with a 1:29.8268s before clocking an afternoon-best 1:29.6787s later on.

All four BJR Camaro were in the top six, with Erebus Motorsport duo Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki second and third.

Heimgartner edged Brown with a green-tyre run late on after BJR had clocked up major mileage across all four cars.

The four BJR Camaros combined for 352 laps — or 1376km — of the 3.91km Sydney circuit.

It comes after BJR ran all four cars on consecutive days at Winton Motor Raceway last week.

While happy to top the times, Heimgartner believes some teams didn’t show their full hand.

“We had more of a systems check and then today had more [tyres] saved up so for sure we chucked some good tyres at it,” he said.

“It was as the timesheets say, we ended up at the top which is good so you don't really know 100 per cent until we get to the first round.

“Obviously people play games, you know, they don't show the hand as as it always is. So yeah, we'll see when we get to Newcastle.”


Teammate Bryce Fullwood agreed: "There's a certain element of people sandbagging you know, like this happens, you'll hear it, it's a hot topic."

Drizzle set in at times during the day, but there were still windows for dry running.

It gave all drivers an opportunity to run their cars at pace at the high-degradation Sydney circuit and better understand their packages.

Heimgartner took the chance, and it helped the New Zealander get a clearer picture of how the cars will behave when the tyre ages.

“Yeah, it's pretty interesting,” he said.

"It’s obviously very different as we all know, with aero and stuff but I think over one lap actually not completely different.

“There are some slight differences as far as how the car moves around a lot more on the tyre... the biggest difference is once you get past one or two laps, this car uses a tyre lot harder.

"So it's actually quite interesting especially here at SMP when the degradation is quite high.

"So it's going to be good racing and yeah, it's anyone's guess how new cars will go."

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will commence at the Thrifty Newcastle 500 on March 10-12.

Tickets are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.

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