Andre Heimgartner has taken the overall win at the third round of the BNT V8s held at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna this weekend.
Throughout the weekends three races Heimgartner claimed two wins and a third placing.
Heimgartner had originally been classified as the race winner in Saturday’s opening race, before a post race penalty was applied in the form of a 10-second penalty for jumping the start, relegated him to third position.
The Heimgartner penalty handed the victory to his teammate Jason Bargwanna, and saw Nick Ross placing second.
Heimgartner went on to win the second race over the weekend after Bargwanna, who had lead for much of the encounter had an on track tangle with fellow Australian Jack Smith.
Smith got a run on his countryman out of turn eight, with Bargwanna covering the move. Bargwanna moved across Smith’s nose and the pair made contact. Bargwanna’s race ending in the sand trap, Heimgarter capitalising and taking the win, with Nick Ross claiming another second place and Smith finishing third.
Heimgartner’s strong performance this weekend hands him the lead of the championship.
“Overall a good weekend. Coming here I was looking forward to applying some things I have learnt in the break. My driving feels as strong as I’ve been and preparing for the upcoming Supercars season in Australia.”
Heimgartner has adapated quickly to his Richards Team Motorsport Toyota Camry, claiming three pole positions in as many rounds and multiple race wins.
“I’m very comfortable in the car, but at the end of the day it still has a steering wheel and pedals and the tyre is the same as we have in Australia. I’ve just been able to adapt to the car quite quickly and turn it into results,” said Heimgartner.
“Looking forward to getting to Teretonga next weekend and continuing the momentum.
The class two round was won by Chelsea Herbert, who claimed two wins and a second place while reigning champion and points leader Liam MacDonald had a tough end to his weekend with a win, a second place and a DNF.
“The car has been running really well. We didn’t quite master the set-up this weekend, but it was good enough to get us some good results,” said Herbert.
“It was a tough round in terms of heat for sure, but also more so in being in the car and trying to get the set-up right. A real measurement for our team and our championship is how close we are to the others, and following this weekend it’s proved that we are right there.”
Round four of the BNT V8s gets underway next weekend at Teretonga near Invercargill.