Heimgartner wins Invercargill opener

Andre Heimgartner has continued his championship charge by claiming his fourth consecutive pole position and winning the opening race at round four of the BNT V8s at Teretonga.

The race for Heimgartner was relatively straight forward, holding off his teammate Jason Bargwanna and the Nissan Altima of Nick Ross through turn one off the start.

From there Heimgartner was able to maintain his lead throughout the race and eventually claimed the chequered flag at the end of 12-laps.

“It was a pretty straight forward race for me, I just put my head down when I was out the front and looked after the tyres. Good race for us, it was maximum points for the championship,” said Heimgartner.

“The car has been running well lately, and I think I’m driving it a lot better than earlier in the season. I’m learning more about the way the car works and what it needs.”

The only major incident of the race came when the safety car was deployed so that officials could retrieve the stricken Nissan of Nick Ross who experienced a spectacular off at the fast turn one.

With a handful of laps to go and catching the front-runners, the rear wing of the Nissan came off and as Ross then applied the brakes, it sent the Cambridge driver off the track, making light contact with the tyre barrier.

“The wing let go, which at the time I wasn’t aware of, so when I went to brake I had no down force. From there I was just a passenger. We have all night to fix the car, we’ll see how bad the damage is and aim to be back out tomorrow,” said Ross.

The class one podium was rounded out by Jason Bargwanna with Lance Hughes in third.

Class two was won by Brock Timperley who also claimed his first pole position in the category earlier in the morning, even more remarkable for the young driver at his first visit to the Teretonga circuit.

“Actually shocked and stoked at the same time with the results so far this weekend,” said Timperley post race.

“We struggled with the car set-up and Ruapuna which was also a new track to me. But here, we’ve got the set-up right and I’ve managed to adapt to the track a bit quicker.”

“In the race itself, the main thing for me was to get a good lead on the first lap and maintain that and let the others fight it out with each other behind.”

“It’s nice to bounce back strong like this.”

The class two podium was rounded out by Chelsea Herbert with local racer and championship lead Liam MacDonald in third.