Andre Heimgartner has marked his return to the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia presented by TAG Heuer championship in the best possible way at the Adelaide season opener, taking race three victory and the ultimate round win.
The New Zealander followed his previous first and third place finishes from the opening two races to take a 0.4secs win in the final race over David Wall, who himself claimed race two victory and two second places.
The battle at the front ultimately saw Heimgartner and Wall finish equal on 168 points, however Heimgartner’s higher position in the final race elevated him to the top of the round podium.
“It was a pretty interesting weekend. It was nice to enjoy my racing again and go out there and be competitive,” said Heimgartner.
“The competition hasn’t dropped at all in the championship with guys like Davison and Wall, and even Evans, in the series. And it was good clean racing as well, which made for a great return to Carrera Cup.
“The 911 GT3 Cup is a very pure race car and driving them feels very natural so I didn’t find it too hard to be on the pace straight away. It was great to get the win and I can’t wait to return at Albert Park.”
Jaxon Evans finished his spectacular debut round on the podium, finishing the round in third after placing third, sixth and fifth in the event’s three races.
Evans’ debut performance was made more incredible by the fact that he sustained a broken back over the off-season after a water skiing accident.
“I’m stoked to get a podium on debut here in Adelaide. I’m down a little bit on my training as I broke my back just before Christmas, so I spent a lot of my Summer in a back brace. Therefore I struggled a bit with the heat this weekend so it was great to get such promising results.”
Dylan O’Keeffe narrowly missed out on a podium in Adelaide, finishing race three in third place and just three points shy of Evans.
Stephen Grove was the best TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge driver of the Clipsal 500 weekend.
Grove won the class in each of the three races and was thrilled to compete among some of the professional racers in Adelaide.
“One of the goals this year is to learn from the professional guys. This weekend there were a few starting from the back in each race and you try to tag onto the back of them in order to learn as much as you can,” said Grove, who started his 100th race in race one.
“It was also great to get my 100th race start as well. I’ve had a great time in the category so far and 100 races certainly came up quickly.”
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia presented by TAG Heuer will hold its next round in Melbourne in three weeks at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
Race 3 results
1. #777 Andre Heimgartner (Outright) Bob Jane T-Marts/Sonic – 20 laps, 28:03.3
2. #38 David Wall (Outright) PAYCE/Wilson Security – 20 laps, 28:03.7
3. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Outright) APB Group/President Limo Austr – 20 laps, 28:09.6
4. #77 Nick McBride (Outright) Sonic/Bob Jane T-Marts – 20 laps, 28:10.2
5. #7 Jaxon Evans (Outright) Hungry Jacks – 20 laps, 28:10.4
6. #6 Michael Almond (Outright) Repair Management Australia – 20 laps, 28:13.5
7. #888 Alex Davison (Outright) President Limo Australia – 20 laps, 28:14.1
8. #54 James Abela (Outright) Horsley Park Gun Shop – 20 laps, 28:21.3
9. #5 Cameron McConville (Outright) Repair Management Australia – 20 laps, 28:26.7
10. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Grove Group – 20 laps, 28:52.1
11. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Hallmarc – 20 laps, 28:53.7
12. #33 Simon Ellingham (Outright) Peak Marketing – 20 laps, 28:54.5