AUSTRALIAN
Wednesday, Oct 11 05:22pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Supercars co-driver role a ‘realistic goal’ for Heimgartner in 2018

After an outstanding performance on his return to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Andre Heimgartner has signalled his interest in another drive for next year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup.


The 22-year-old Kiwi said he’ll take whatever opportunities come his way next year as he looks to grow his racing portfolio, but admitted full time drive is off the cards.


“I’d like to be a co-driver,” Heimgartner told velocitynews.co.nz.


“To get back into Supercars…we’re not pushing so much for that. But as I said, if that opportunity arises we’ll jump at it, but we’re not trying too hard for that.


“A co-drive next year is a realistic goal and we’ll do that along with our other programme.”


With a one-off drive in the Blancpain GT Series Asia looming this weekend, Heimgartner said there’s a chance he’ll race in the GT3 championship next year. However, the Australian based Kiwi said his focus will be on the Australian series’ he competes in.


“Perhaps, we’ll look at [Blancpain GT] as an option. Australia is our main area to try and get going again for next year, but whatever opportunities we can get up in Asia and Europe will be extra.”


Heimgartner confirmed he’ll likely return to the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia ranks for a second consecutive season. So far he’s nearly completed a full season of Carrera Cup alongside Nick McBride in the Sonic Motor Racing Services team.


A drive in the FRD LMP3 Series brought immediate success in China just two months ago with a win in his first race, and in a few days time he’ll jet off to China for the final round of the Blancpain GT Series Asia. There he’ll drive with Craft-Bamboo Racing in the no. 88 Porsche 911 GT3 R.


Heimgartner said he’s to the Zhejiang Circuit hoping for a similar performance to his late drive with Brad Jones Racing’s Tim Slade. He replaced injured driver Ash Walsh who was suffering with broken ribs, and hauled their car up to ninth with an exhausted Slade.


But most of all, he said, getting seat time will be the most valuable result of his latest drive.


“I just want to do a good job—similar to what I did at Bathurst with BJR.


“I’ve driven lots of GT3 cars so it won’t take too much adjusting to get back to it. It’s good to be able to drive a car nearly every weekend for about three weeks. It’s good fun, lots of driving! The more that you drive the better, it doesn’t matter what it is.”


Heimgartner said he’s looking forward to the chance to get his foot in the door to the Asian GT3 market.


“It’s a pretty cool opportunity and experience that [Craft-Bamboo Racing] given me. It’s the area that I want to try and get into more and more. I’m really looking forward to it, I think it’s a step in the right direction.


“Obviously some of the racing we’ve done of there in Porsches and over here I’ve done well has caught the attention of them. It’s going to be really good. Hopefully I can do well and get a few more drives like that. That’s the future place for me.


“I’ll just go out there and do the job. Hopefully I’m fast enough for them to want to get me back, that’s the main thing.”


Photo: Dirk Klynsmith Photography


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