Heimgartner’s ‘heartbreaking’ end to time at KGR
Monday 6th December, 2021 - 5:00pm
Andre Heimgatner was left saddened after a seemingly unlikely source of trouble derailed his swansong with Kelly Grove Racing at the Repco Bathurst 1000.
Heimgartner battled with radio dramas throughout the 161-affair, making strategic calls all but impossible.
The team tried its best to resolve the problem throughout the day, even changing Heimgartner’s helmet mid-pit stop.
It wasn’t the only issue for the #7 Ned Racing Ford Mustang, which lost the window out of its left door just three laps into the race.
In the end, Heimgartner and co-driver Matt Campbell weren’t classified after their final lap took twice as long to complete as race winner Chaz Mostert’s.
Ultimately, it wasn’t the way Heimgartner wanted to end his tenure with the team before joining Brad Jones Racing in 2022.
“Unfortunately too much time spent in the pits got in the way of any real charge,” said Heimgartner.
“Losing all radio comms hindered any real strategy calls, and we know how important they are around here.
“It’s heartbreaking because the car was just so fast out there, having the pace we had been missing all week.
“With it being my last race for the team it’s a little disappointing I wasn’t able to go out with more of a bang, but that’s motorsport for you.
“Lastly, I just want to say thank you to the team, crew, basically everyone who’s come and gone from the team over the years and wish the next iteration of this team all the best for next year.”
The sister #26 Penrite Racing entry of David Reynolds and Luke Youlden finished just shy of the top 10 in 11th.
“Today was okay, wasn’t fantastic,” said Reynolds.
“To win around here you really need a little bit of magic that we just didn’t have.
“We had a pretty flawless race, all things considered, just never found ourselves in the position to really challenge.
“It sucks losing. It hurts our hearts. But we’re just going to keep working and come back next year with some fresh new ideas and go for it all over again.”
Heimgartner and Reynolds ended the season 17th and 18th in the drivers’ championship.
Kelly Grove Racing finished eighth in the teams’ championship.
The team will become Grove Racing in 2022 after the Kelly family sold its stake in the team to the Grove Group.