Supercars – André Heimgartner hangs on in eventful final Winton Race

André Heimgartner has continued to lead the Kelly Racing crew in the final race at the Truck Assist Winton Super Sprint. After qualifying tenth in the #7 Plus Fitness Racing Altima, André grabbed a clean start and moved up a couple of spots in the early stages of this afternoon’s race.

After an early pit stop, André had good speed early on and maximised the life of his tyres with clean air ahead. The second pit stop with around forty laps to go saw the #7 push on with a full fuel load and four fresh tyres, however during the final stint André struggled with overall grip and tyre life. In the closing stages of the race the grip really fell off and André did well hang onto eleventh and hold off the cars behind on fresher tyres.

Rick Kelly had a rough day in the Castrol Racing #15. He qualified the car in P12, and the team adopted a similar early stop strategy to André which gave the car some good pace early in the race. However, a whack from another racer bent the Castrol car’s steering which made progress difficult. Unfortunately Rick’s race didn’t last much longer with a mechanical failure forcing him out of the race.

Garry Jacobson continued to progress this weekend in his home race with good speed throughout the day. The #3 Racing Altima qualified P21 and finished the race P18 with a couple of good moves during today’s race.

Simona De Silvestro had some tough battles on her hands in the #78 Team Harvey Norman Altima. An exciting tussle with Hazelwood unfolded during the early stages of the race, however contact with Winterbottom later in the day at turn one put Simona onto the grass and at the back of the pack.

Kelly Racing Team quotes 

André Heimgartner, #7 Plus Fitness Racing : We didn’t have the best day to be honest. We went alright in qualifying, we had to go the hard way through Q1, Q3 and Q3 and in te last session we didn’t really have the tyres left to really push for a good position so we had to settle for P10 which was still not too bad. Then in the race we probably didn’t get the strategy right with the early stop and after the second stop with the full fuel load we struggled with grip and the tyres really ran out of life at the end we did well to hang on to P11.”

Garry Jacobson, #3 Racing : “Today we had better tyre life and that has been the big goal for me going into this weekend, in the past after the first ten or fifteen laps I’ve really struggled with tyre grip and this weekend I think we’ve got past that. As for the race itself we were able to improve on our position from where we started so definitely positive. Still a long way to go though both with me and the car, we’re struggling with straight line grunt and front end grip through the corners and under brakes so definitely still a lot to work on but we’re going in the right direction.”

Simona De Silvestro, #78 Team Harvey Norman :  “It was a difficult race, it’s like I’ve got a target on the back of my car or something, this weekend we copped a lot of hits. In that last one I had a big one from Frosty at turn one which spun the car and put me on the grass and from there it was difficult to move up. We also had a bit of confusion around the safety car towards the end so not really the weekend I wanted but we’ll look forward to Darwin.”

Rick Kelly, #15 Castrol Racing : “It was obviously a horrible day for us, we missed out on the last qualifying session by two one-hundredths, qualified twelfth and we had to adopt an aggressive strategy for the race to move forward and we got going ok we just got pummelled when everyone else started coming out of the pits. De Pasquale tried a bit of an aggressive move which didn’t pay off and actually bent our steering a little bit and we lost a chunk of time from that which we obviously couldn’t get back after the engine failure which put us out of the race completely. So very disappointing weekend, you always want to go well at your home track and that didn’t happen. We’ve got a couple of weeks to turn it around and try improve at Darwin.”

Press release Kelly Racing

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