Heimgartner looking to lay platform for 2024 in Adelaide
Thursday 16th November, 2023 - 11:01am
Brad Jones Racing’s Andre Heimgartner is eyeing next weekend’s Vailo Adelaide 500 as an opportunity to build a platform for a 2024 Supercars title challenge.
The New Zealander is currently sixth in the championship standings, well ahead of his personal best end-of-season result, that being last year’s 10th in his first full season at BJR.
Should Heimgartner hold on to sixth, it would also equal the Albury-based team’s best drivers’ championship result, achieved by Fabian Coulthard in 2013, but he is aiming higher in 2024.
He identified qualifying as an area of focus as he looks to get a headstart on next year, next weekend.
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“It’s been a great year for us,” said the R&J Batteries Camaro pilot.
“It’s been a lot of ups and downs. I think, recently, our qualifying’s really struggled and that’s sort of really hindered our actual performance and our consistency, because when you go down the back, obviously, a lot of stuff happens.
“So, that’s something we need to work out as a team, and we’re working through that at the moment, but overall, very, very happy.
“I think Adelaide will just be working on those qualifying things we spoke about and trying to prepare the best we can for next year.
“I think we have lots of ideas of what we want to test – all sorts of stuff like that – so, looking forward to Adelaide, get through the weekend, and then secure our best championship position of my career and equal BJR’s best, and go into next year hopefully being title contenders.”
Being the venue of the season finale, Adelaide marks the last new circuit for the Gen3 race cars – until Taupo hosts Supercars for the very first time, next April.
While the City of Churches’ street circuit is known as a car-cruncher, the Supercars field is arguably coming off an even tougher track, namely the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit.
“I think the Gen3 car will be fine,” said Heimgartner.
“Going to all these different tracks, at the start of the year we’re like, “Oh, I don’t know how the [Gen3 car is] going to go at Townsville,” but look, it was fine, and the same at the Gold Coast; the car handled completely fine.
“So, I don’t really think there’s going to be any issues and, you know, it’s better in some places at a street truck than the old car and then worse in others, but overall, it’s still great package.”
Practice for the Repco Supercars Championship field starts next Thursday afternoon.