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Supercars – André Heimgartner finishes eighth in hometown race

Kelly Racing has had a big day on track in New Zealand, concluding with an eighth-place finish in race one for Kiwi André Heimgartner. André struggled in qualifying today and started this afternoon’s race in sixteenth position and had a battle on his hands in the opening laps.

André’s luck turned around when a safety car was called as he was completing his first pit stop. After everything settled down André resumed the race in fourth spot. A longer fuel drop in the second stop mean he came home in eighth spot – still a fantastic result for the team.

Simona De Silvestro was the team’s next best finisher in the Team Harvey Norman Supercar. She too struggled in qualifying but unlocked some pace for the race and was able to pick up a handful of spots from her qualifying position and finish sixteenth.

Garry Jacobson had his first race and Pukekohe today in the Racing Altima and had a reasonably good qualifying and race consistent with his last couple of rounds.

Rick Kelly battled his way through today in the Castrol Racing Nissan. Qualifying didn’t go his way and he continued to fight the car throughout today’s race where the car lacked pace and wasn’t able to keep up with the pack. This wasn’t helped by a couple of pit stop issues which meant Rick had to come back through to re-do a setup change so he completed three stops for the race instead of two.

The team starts fresh tomorrow with another qualifying session and 200km race.

Kelly Racing Team quotes

André Heimgartner, Plus Fitness Racing #7 : « We got pretty lucky today with the timing of our first pit stop just before the safety car came out so we were able to jump a few spots from that and we had good race pace with the car to maintain position and make the most of the luck we had, but we still need to find a bit of pace just to get the qualifying lap. Really happy with eighth in the race, it’s a good reward considering the weekend we’ve had so far struggling with pace so hopefully we can improve again tomorrow and keep moving up. »

Simona De Silvestro, Team Harvey Norman #78 : « We found some pace between qualifying and the race today and were able to pick up a few spots. We changed one thing from practice to qualifying and it had a made a big difference the wrong way and the car had a lot of understeer so we need to fix that for qualifying tomorrow, fortunately the car was quite good for the race. I’m pretty happy with how it went, we got a bit unlucky with the safety car just having to go around one more time before pitting, we stayed out for a long stint to see if it would rain, unfortunately it didn’t, but we had good pace, now tomorrow we just need to have a good qualifying tomorrow and we’ll be alright. »

Garry Jacobson, Racing #3 : « The start was ok, we were pretty much three wide for a lot of the first lap we just got squeezed wide and lost a couple of places there, that’s racing. From there the lap consistency was pretty consistent over the race so I’m happy with that. Overall we’ve been dealing with a bit of understeer today, we went quicker in qualifying on an old set of tyres which is a real head scratcher for us but it does give some indication to what I like and what the car reacts well to. So we’ll look at that and try improve for qualifying tomorrow. »

Rick Kelly, Castrol Racing #15 : « Today we didn’t have the race pace but we also had a couple of mistakes in the pit stops so we had to come back in and change something on the first stop so we did an extra pit stop to everyone else and we had another drama in the last stop so we lost a lot of time in the pits. And the car pace just wasn’t there, we felt that in the first and the large middle stint so we’ve got to have a look at that and work out what’s holding us back so much. Fundamentally the car is understeering but to the extent that it is we don’t know why and we can’t keep up with the pack at the moment. » We’ve got a lot of sensors and data these days to look at and work out what’s going on so we can get back out there and finish where we need to be. »

Press release Kelly Racing


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