Andre Heimgartner has continued his charge to win his first BNT V8s Championship title by winning the opening race at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon at Feilding – round five of the series.
Heimgartner and his Toyota Camry started from second place on the grid, alongside pole sitter Nick Ross in his Nissan Altima
Ross held the lead for the opening couple of laps, before a forceful move from Heimgartner put him into the lead where he stayed for the rest of the race.
Ross crossed the finish line in second place, chased hard by young Australian driver Jack Smith in a Holden Commodore.
Heimgartner’s teammate Jason Bargwanna, finishing further down the order after an overheating issue forced him into the pits for a number of laps. For Heimgartner, the win helps his title hopes as he further extends his championship lead over Bargwanna.
“It was a good battle there with Nick, a little bit of side to side contact, I got a good run on him on the outside of turn one and managed to get it down the inside by the next corner,” said Heimgartner
“The car has been faultless throughout the whole year. To come here and be fast again is fantastic, hopefully it continues tomorrow and for the rest of the season.”
With rain forecast to hit the Feilding circuit tomorrow, Heimgartner predicts it will be tough going for competitors with two more races remamining.
“Its going to be wet tomorrow, and when it is wet here it’s pretty average. There are different track surfaces and it holds a bit of water when it does rain. It’ll make for some interesting racing.”
Class two of the championship was won by Brock Timperley who started off pole position and held off Liam MacDonald through the opening corners. From there Timpereley, in his Ford Falcon, built a gap and held the lead until the chequered flag.
“The approach for the race was to hold the lead, build a gap and maintain it. We want to save our tyres for the remaining races,” said Timperley.
“We’ve worked a lot on reliability which is starting to show, and I think my driving is improving.”
Timperley says he’s relishing the predicted wet conditions for the rest of the weekend. “I quite like it here in the wet. I’ve raced here in the wet before and I’m quite comfortable with it. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
The class two podium was rounded out by Liam MacDonald and Chelsea Herbert. Herbert had a good recovery, having been forced to start from pitlane after she suffered a differential issue in qualifying, her team getting the car fixed just moments before the race started.
The BNT V8s have two more races at Manfeild tomorrow.