As the BNT V8s head to Teretonga this weekend for round four of the Championship, Andre Heimgartner will be looking to continue his fast form in what could be another weather affected race weekend.
There was a change in the championship lead at Ruapuna last weekend as Heimgartner took control at the top of the points table and taking the round win along the way.
Trailing his teammate Jason Bargwanna by 24 points before the weekend at Ruapuna, Heimgartner now holds a 44-point lead over the Australian with Cambridge’s Nick Ross also closing the gap and holding third a further 14 points behind.
Heimgartner appeared to be the fastest man on track throughout the weekend, scooping pole position and throughout the weekends three races claimed two wins and a third placing. Though his championship hopes were helped by Bargwanna’s DNF in race two following a clash with Jack Smith.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Teretonga this weekend and continuing the momentum,” said Heimgartner. “Teretonga is challenging. It’s a circuit where you have to look after your tyres as the corners apply a lot of load to the tyre. If it’s wet it’s very tricky and slippery, with lots of opportunities to make a mistake, so no doubt it’s going to be action-packed.”
Ross, who finished second at Teretonga last season remains winless thus far this year, something he hopes to remedy this weekend. “We had a good run there (at Teretonga) last season with a first a second and a third, so I’m looking forward to see if we can go better,” said Ross. “Teretonga is an awesome circuit. Turn one there is the best corner in the country, if you can get that right it sets up your lap. We want to start winning races now, we’re nearly there and we’ve got a handful of second placings, but it’s time to get us up to the top step.”
The class two round at Ruapuna was won by Chelsea Herbert, who claimed a win and two second placing’s while reigning champion and points leader Liam MacDonald of Invercargill had a tough end to his weekend with a win, a second place and a DNF – a fuel issue preventing him from crossing the finish line and stopping just before the final corner in the last race.
Pleased with the car speed of her MTF Ford Falcon, Herbert says being able match the pace of reigning class two champion MacDonald is encouraging for the rest of her season.
“I think it’s a real measurement for our team at the moment, it’s nice to know that we’re close with Liam on track and that if I throw in a pass on him it’s going to stick. Not only to be up there by Liam, but racing against him and sometimes beating him is nice,” said Herbert. “My first time at Teretonga was last year and it was wet. So I’m expecting the same track conditions. If it is dry, then I’ve got a whole new track to learn.
“It is Liam’s home track, so I know that if I have relative speed to him then I know I’m on the money. It’s such a cool circuit, very little but I think that’s what makes it great to race at.”
The BNT V8s will have three races over the weekend at Teretonga.