Heimgartner: 10th in standings not a ‘true reflection’

Centre: Tony Woodward. Right: Andre Heimgartner.

Andre Heimgartner believes he could have been a top-five contender in the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship standings if it wasn’t for untimely incidents.

The Brad Jones Racing driver washed up 10th in the Drivers’ Championship after the Valo Adelaide 500 season finale.

That was with an average finishing position of 10th, having closed out the year with a fifth-place finish on the streets of Adelaide.

His best result came at the New Zealander’s home event with a second place at Pukekohe Park Raceway.

However, the #8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore driver’s year also came with its fair share of retirements.

If it wasn’t for the start-line crash at Tailem Bend, which was followed by DNFs at the high points-paying rounds of Bathurst and the Gold Coast, Heimgartner says he could have halved his position in the standings.

“I think our finishing position in the championship, it’s not a true reflection,” he told Speedcafe.com.

“We had DNFs as did everyone, but the timing of our DNFs was quite poor.

“Bathurst, and then obviously, the Tailem Bend incident in the second race so we missed out on two races there, and the Gold Coast, which was a big points race as well.

“So we really lost out on 400-500 points there which would have put us sixth or seventh in the championship.

“Everyone has their story, but I feel like for sure our true pace throughout the year has been around that fifth-sixth place.”

Overall, it was a tidy campaign after his switch to BJR ahead of the 2022 season, the team which took out the Pirtek Pit Stop Challenge for the fourth year in a row.

Heimgartner noted his progression as a driver, though paid credit to the work of his race engineer, Tony Woodward, and the BJR crew.

“As you get on — this was my eighth season — you feel like you’re refining, getting a bit better at what you’re trying to achieve,” he said.

“At the same time, I know just as well as anyone because I’ve been in cars qualifying last, and I’ve been in a car on pole position and winning a race,” he added, referring to his maiden race win with Kelly Grove Racing at The Bend in 2021.

“I know that it’s not just the driver that gets the car to the front, but it’s a combination of [that and the team effort].

“Obviously, BJR had a good base before and we sort of picked that up and made some improvements, and Tony and I work really well together and the whole crew.

“It’s sort of been I guess a relationship that’s worked well together [this year] rather than one solo part by itself exceeding I’d say.

“It’s like anything, once you get momentum building, you build conference and things start making more sense — then everything starts flowing in the right direction.”

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