Heimgartner fastest again in all-Camaro top eight

Andre Heimgartner

Andre Heimgartner

Brad Jones Racing’s Andre Heimgartner has topped Supercars’ pre-season Gen3 test at Sydney Motorsport Park after setting the fastest lap in an afternoon session dominated by Chevrolet Camaros.

The #8 R&J Batteries Camaro had finished more than a full second clear in the morning session thanks to a 1:29.8268s, when Heimgartner ran on new super soft tyres.

The margin was much closer in the afternoon hit-out but the New Zealander had gone quicker again in clocking a 1:29.6787s, 0.0157s up on Erebus Motorsport’s Will Brown (#9 Coca-Cola Camaro).

Brodie Kostecki’s 1:29.7851s made for an Erebus two-three in Car #99, followed by the other three BJR cars and then Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Shane van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro) in an all-Chevrolet top eight.

Best of the Ford contingent was the Blanchard Racing Team’s Todd Hazelwood with a 1:30.7131s after the chequered flag in the #3 CoolDrive Mustang.

Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert was second for the Blue Oval brigade with a 1:31.0940s which left him the #25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang 13th on the timesheet.

Mostert’s team-mate Nick Percat struck drama late in the piece, stopping on-track with what turned out to be a loose wheel on the #2 Mobil 1 NTI Mustang, in a continuation of the dramas which have afflicted the Gen3 rollout broadly.

Rain between the morning and afternoon sessions saw the track remain empty for the first 20 minutes of the latter, before Tickford Racing’s #6 Monster Energy Mustang was dispatched, apparently with James Moffat behind the wheel.

Car #6 held sway with firmly wet-weather pace, specifically, a 1:43.1947s, and similar could be said when Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert went to the top with a 1:40.4778s in the #25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang, late in the first hour.

However, when Brad Jones Racing’s Bryce Fullwood drove the #14 Middy’s Camaro to a 1:33.9793s early in the second hour, it was apparent that the switch to slicks was on.

His team-mate Jack Smith (#4 SCT Logistics Camaro) then set a high-32 before Erebus Motorsport’s Will Brown (#9 Coca-Cola Camaro) clocked a low-32.

Brown was quickly knocked off his perch by Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang), then Scott Pye (#20 Hino Camaro), and Waters on a 1:31.3408s.

Mark Winterbottom (#18 DeWalt Camaro) shifted the benchmark to a 1:30.8094s in the 92nd minute and, with the return of light rain over Eastern Creek, he would remain there for around another 90 minutes.

After a red flag late in the third hour, both of the Erebus Camaros rolled back out and Brown soon set a 1:30.3083s and then a 1:29.6944s, on separate runs.

BJR’s Andre Heimgartner shaved 0.0157s off that time with about 42 minutes to go when he set a 1:29.6787s in the #8 R&J Batteries Camaro.

Nick Percat’s #2 Mobil 1 NTI Mustang then came to a halt at Turn 10, causing a 10-minute stoppage, before pit lane opened again with just over three minutes left in what was to have been the fourth and final hour.

A 15-minute extension to proceedings was granted but there was no change to the top four, save for Macauley Jones improving his time but not his position in driving the #96 Pizza Hut Camaro to a 1:29.9584s.

Fifth and sixth went to his BJR team-mates Jack Smith (#4 SCT Logistics Camaro) and Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy’s Camaro), from van Gisbergen on a 1:30.2472s, then Winterbottom, Hazelwood, and Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro).

Best of the DJR duo was Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang) in 14th on a 1:31.2223s, with Tickford’s top entry being the #6 Mustang on a 1:31.3408s in 16th.

Private testing is set to resume on Monday at Queensland Raceway, when at least Triple Eight will be in action.

Results: Afternoon

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver(s) Car Fastest lap Split
1 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Chev Camaro ZL1 1:29.6787  
2 9 Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus William Brown Chev Camaro ZL1 1:29.6944 0:00.0157
3 99 Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Chev Camaro ZL1 1:29.7851 0:00.1064
4 96 Pizza Hut Racing Macauley Jones Chev Camaro ZL1 1:29.9584 0:00.2797
5 4 SCT Racing Jack Smith Chev Camaro ZL1 1:30.2193 0:00.5406
6 14 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Chev Camaro ZL1 1:30.2449 0:00.5662
7 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Chev Camaro ZL1 1:30.2472 0:00.5685
8 18 DEWALT Racing Mark Winterbottom Chev Camaro ZL1 1:30.6914 0:01.0127
9 3 CoolDrive Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Mustang GT 1:30.7131 0:01.0344
10 88 Red Bull Racing by Ampol Broc Feeney Chev Camaro ZL1 1:30.7341 0:01.0554
11 35 Truck Assist Racing Cameron Hill Chev Camaro ZL1 1:30.7717 0:01.0930
12 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Chev Camaro ZL1 1:30.8698 0:01.1911
13 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 1:31.0940 0:01.4153
14 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton de Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:31.2223 0:01.5436
15 23 PremiAir Pty Ltd Tim Slade Chev Camaro ZL1 1:31.2401 0:01.5614
16 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:31.3408 0:01.6621
17 19 Penrite Racing Matthew Payne Ford Mustang GT 1:31.3755 0:01.6968
18 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:31.4941 0:01.8154
19 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:31.5737 0:01.8950
20 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:31.6324 0:01.9537
21 20 Hino Scott Pye Chev Camaro ZL1 1:31.6544 0:01.9757
22 31 Nulon Racing James Golding Chev Camaro ZL1 1:31.7031 0:02.0244
23 56 Tradie Racing Declan Fraser Ford Mustang GT 1:31.8418 0:02.1631
24 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Ford Mustang GT 1:32.2209 0:02.5422
25 5 Snowy River Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:32.3073 0:02.6286

Note: Timesheet only showing a car’s primary driver

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