Season-best qualifying puts Heimgartner in prime position

Andre Heimgartner. Picture: Ross Gibb

Brad Jones Racing’s Andre Heimgartner has soared to his best starting position of the season at the Pizza Hut Winton SuperSprint.

The #8 R&J Batteries Racing driver will start Race 14 and Race 15 from fifth and third respectively, the latter his best effort to date with the team.

The strong showing in qualifying comes off the back of his first podium finish with Brad Jones Racing at the most recent round of the Repco Supercars Championship, the Perth SuperNight.

“We’re really, really stoked,” said Heimgartner.

“Yesterday, we actually had not a bad race car, and I said, ‘look, we’re close to making it really fast’, we just needed some more drive and a couple of other little things.

“Overnight, Tony [Woodward, race engineer], the whole engineering group, did an amazing job. As soon as I rolled the car out, I’m like ‘okay, now we’re talking!’ I was able to be pretty consistent.

“The first one was pretty conservative and we ended up fifth. That one [Qualifying for Race 15], I had a little bit more of a dig and ended up third. Really, really stoked for R&J Batteries and the whole crew.”

Heimgartner was among those to test prior to the fifth event of the 2022 season.

Although Winton Motor Raceway is the team’s de facto home event, Heimgartner said he came into the event with little thought of any advantage.

“It’s our home track, but we went into this weekend not having a really strong set-up or a strong direction to go,” said Heimgartner.

“It’s a credit to the guys that they’ve been able to analyse what we’ve learnt from the test day.

“We didn’t really unlock anything, we just learnt things, which was positive and then we came this weekend with that toolbox and we managed to actually put the pieces together to make it obviously not bad.

“It’s good. We’ll wait for the two races today. Anything can happen. This little track is so much action, but we put ourselves in the best position.”

Brad Jones Racing’s last Winton Motor Raceway podium came in 2016 courtesy of Tim Slade, who claimed back-to-back victories.

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