Andre Heimgartner will make his racing return to a New Zealand national championship by confirming he will line-up in the BNT V8s at Pukekohe, November 3-5, aboard a Richards Team Motorsport Toyota Camry.
Heimgartner is no stranger to the BNT V8s here in New Zealand, having made his touring car debut in V8 SuperTourers as a 16-year old in 2012 aboard a Holden Commodore and says he is excited to get back into the BNT V8 championship.
“It is always nice to return to your roots and I enjoy meeting my old rivals and friends. I’m not as nervous as I was as a 16 year old competing in the SuperTourer competition for the first time 6 years ago, I expect it to be a very enjoyable weekend,” says Heimgartner.
Having gained his early experience aboard his previous SuperTourer specfication car, Heimgartner says he expects there to be differences between that and the TLX Toyota Camry he is set to drive this season.
“The TLX chassis of the Toyota Camry is definitely different to SuperTourer set up. I’ve driven Lance Hughes TLX Holden and my experience in that car proved that they are a comfortable and competitive package so I’ve grown to appreciate each chassis strengths and weaknesses. My team mate Jason Bargwanna is very competitive and I’ll have the identical car, so no excuses.”
Having had a busy racing calendar in recent weeks, competing in Australia and Asia, Heimgartner is hoping to compete in a full season of the BNT V8s Championship, dependent on his international racing commitments.
“Next year internationally, is still up in the air and it will depend on my overall programme, with New Zealand being at the end of the world. Lance Hughes, Peter Johnston, and Stephen Richards who owns the Camry have all been very supportive and have made the option to complete the BNT V8s season very attractive. I hope to make it work but, it’s in the hands of my management team at the moment.”
Heimgartner will take over the Toyota Camry raced last season by Sam Barry.
Barry is still recovering following brain surgery in June to correct a Chiari malformation, a condition where the brain sits too low and impedes the spinal canal, placing pressure on the brain and spine.
The first round of the 2017/18 BNT V8s season gets underway at the Virgin Australia ITM Auckland Super Sprint at Pukekohe November 3-5.