Confirmed: Kelly Racing announce André Heimgartner's return
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After a wee bit of doubt, it's been confirmed that there will be five New Zealanders on the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship grid in 2019.
The futures of Richie Stanaway and André Heimgartner were both up in the air for a period, but following confirmation that Stanaway would head to Garry Rogers Motorsport it's now been announced that Heimgartner will return to Kelly Racing for a second season in a row.
“It’s great to finally announce my return to Kelly Racing for 2019. I can’t wait to get into the new season,” said Heimgartner.
“We had some strong results at the end of last year and with the continual development of the Altima over the summer, I’m confident that we will be able to hit the ground running.”
“André has developed into a great asset for our team," added team owner for former Bathurst 1000 champion Todd Kelly.
“He has a natural born ability to drive race cars — fast and hungry. I’m confident that we are going to see the best of André this year.
“The whole Kelly Racing team has barely stopped this off-season and, with the input of André and his No. 7 crew, there’s a positive vibe heading into the pre-season test at Phillip Island.”
Heimgartner's return to the series last season was a largely positive one. A best finishing position of sixth at the series finale helped him achieve 17th in the championship — ahead of fellow Nissan drivers Michael Caruso and Simona De Silvestro.
The Kelly Racing squad have confirmed that Caruso won't be returning for 2019. Instead, it's expected that former Dunlop Super2 driver Garry Jacobson will take the team's fourth spot.
Round one of the 2019 Supercars Championship kicks off with the Adelaide 500, which takes place across March 2–3.