Heimgartner: Winton test ‘crucial’ for KGR progress

Kelly Grove Racing will test at Winton Motor Raceway tomorrow

Andre Heimgartner says a test at Winton Motor Raceway will be crucial for Kelly Grove Racing to continue its race-winning momentum.

Fresh off its first Repco Supercars Championship race win in almost three years, Kelly Grove Racing will be joined by several other southern squads at the test tomorrow.

For the Braeside-based squad, the outing will be one of the most important track days of the year as they look to continue developing their Ford Mustang package.

“We’ve got a lot of stuff to try,” Heimgartner told Speedcafe.com.

“The guys have been working extremely hard to have some stuff to put in the car at the test to keep pushing forward. It’s really exciting.

“I think we’re only going to get stronger as the year goes on.

“It’s very crucial,” he said of the test.

“We’re still getting to terms with what we’ve got. David [Reynolds, team-mate] was the experimental pig for the first part of [The Bend] weekend and that last race.

“We’ve got some good data to go back on and good things to look at. I think we’ll only get stronger from here.”

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Supercars reduced most of its three-day events to two-dayers.

That’s seen practice move from Friday to Saturday, leaving teams very little time to digest things before qualifying and the weekend’s first race.

The test will act as a catch-up of sorts for Kelly Grove Racing.

“Ideally you have three days, it’s way better,” said Heimgartner.

“It’s not as rushed and you can digest it better. It’s better from a driver’s point of view. You can analyse it, but now it’s bang, bang, bang.

“Once you’re off the pace, it’s hard to get back on it. Three days would be better, but it is what it is. I think we return to three days anyway in Darwin so I’m looking forward to that.”

Heimgartner claimed his first Supercars Championship race win at The Bend Motorsport Park in the Saturday race, which he followed up with finishes of seventh and 10th in Sunday’s heats.

The 25-year-old lamented a lack of qualifying pace between Saturday and Sunday, having claimed his second career pole in the first outing.

“We were a little bit off where we wanted to be, especially in qualifying on outright pace,” he explained.

“It’s a little disappointing. We’re learning. We made some steps. There’s a lot of positives to take from it; first win, [another] pole.

“Overall, I would have liked to be stronger, but it’s good points. Moved back to where we should be in the championship, which is good.”

The Winton test precedes the Winton SuperSprint across May 29-30.

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