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Heimgartner credits podium to team’s ‘back to basics’ approach

Simon Chapman

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Sunday 20th September, 2020 - 2:49pm

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Andre Heimgartner

Andre Heimgartener says a Supercars podium at The Bend Motorsport Park came courtesy of a ‘back to basics’ approach by Kelly Racing.

The team has struggled in recent rounds. Team-mate Rick Kelly ended a 12-race drought of top 10 finishes in Race 25, finishing inside the top 10 for the first time since the second Sydney event.

Heimgartner, meanwhile, ended a six-race drought with fourth place in Race 25.

The 25-year-old backed up that result with his second podium of the season in Race 26, finishing behind race winner Shane van Gisbergen and ahead of Scott McLaughlin.

For Heimgartner, it’s been a welcome return to form for the Kelly Racing team after a string of tough finishes in Darwin and Townsville.

The Kiwi paid tribute to team owner and engine builder Todd Kelly, who has worked extensively to get the team’s engine package competitive.

“We really struggled at Townsville with the way our cars are at the moment and we’ve still got a few deficiencies in some areas that we’re tidying up,” said Heimgarnter.

“But Todd’s done an amazing job with the engines and we’ve had very little reliability issues and our power is actually very good.

“So going forward from here, I think we’re only going to get stronger and hopefully we can carry this form onto other tracks.

“We sort of went back to the set-up we had on that test day, after all the rounds of developing the set-up and thinking you’ve got somewhere and after Sydney and all that sort of stuff.

“So back to basics, I guess you could say, and it worked out well.”

With two second place finishes to his name this season, Heimgartner believes a win isn’t off the cards in 2020.

That’s despite having moved from a four-car operation to a two-car operation, out of the Nissan Altima and into the Ford Mustang.

“Everything needs to line up (for a race win),” said Heimgartner.

“Up to now we have had dramas with the cars, we’ve had pit stop issues for me, I’ve just been perfecting my style and the reliability of my driving and making mistakes and passing and all that sort of stuff so it’ll all come together soon.

“This sport’s such a complex thing, it’s not just myself, it’s not just the team, it’s everyone coming together. I’m sure soon we’ll be able to be up there and get that win hopefully ticked off the bucket list.”

The final race of the weekend is set to commence from 14:25 local time/14:55 AEST.

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