Endurance racing is the future, says former Supercars ace
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In the midst of a busy Porsche Carrera Cup Australia campaign, rising start André Heimgartner is putting time aside to compete in this year’s ENEOS North Island Endurance Series.
The 22-year-old has been a regular in the Three Hour series in recent years with the Hamilton Asphalts team led by BNT NZ Touring Cars competitor Lance Hughes.
For Heimgartner, it’s a good chance to get back to New Zealand during the Winter to see family and friend.
“It’s great, I love it — racing in the series gives me an excuse to come and see my family as well, which is also positive,” Heimgartner said.
“It’s good to come back and its good fun with the Hamilton Asphalts crew. They’re a great bunch of people and if we can do well and get a trophy like we did at the last round then that’s a plus.”
Driving a Holden Commodore VE TLX makes his and Hughes’ entry one of the fastest in the Thrre Hour field. The mix of fast and slow cars gives him an added challenge, often siphoning through traffic throughout the race.
Having been a regular in it for several years, Heimgartner sad he’s encouraged by the growing number of high-end racing machinery heading to New Zealand shores to compete.
“I’ve raced in this series or a formation of this series for a long time, so it’s pretty cool to see the numbers.
“It’s definitely the strongest motorsport category in New Zealand. The number of cars they have in the One Hour and the Three Hour is quite outstanding.
“With all the Audis and Ferraris, it’s taking New Zealand motorsport to a new level. It’s good to see them here and it’s good to see some racing.
“I think it’s a good thing, it’s only going to get stronger.”
Once the team have completed this year’s series, Heimgartner said they’ll be making a few changes to the car to get it further up the field.
“The car has about 700hp. We’re going to hotrod it specifically for this series. She’s going to get a few tweak ups and make it a lot more inline and competitive with the other cars."
At a wet and windy Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Heimgartner powered through lapped traffic. He was a stand out in the tricky conditions at the opening round of the series.
The crew eventually finished sixth overall and third in class, a welcome result given the conditions.
However, round two brought better results. Hughes and Heimgartner picked up fourth overall at the last round held at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park and second in the GT-B Class.
Out of everything though, Heimgartner said it’s good to get out onto the circuit and just drive. He leaves his obligations across the Tasman where he knows he has to do well, but behind the wheel of the Commodore he can just drive fast.