20 SEP 2020
Heimgartner scores podium and finishes second overall for Championship points at The Bend
Kelly Racing has continued to show strong performance in the second day of the Repco Super Sprint at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia. After coming close to a podium finish in yesterday's race, the team was able to go one step further today and claim its second trophy of the season.
After qualifying in fifth place for the first race of the day, André Heimgartner claimed the NED Whisky Ford Mustang's second podium of the year, finishing in P2 after an incredible move on Scott McLaughlin and Chaz Mostert in the second stint of the race. André was able to get have a great run off the start and use the undercut pit stop strategy to great effect, jumping a couple of places before taking advantage of a gap down the inside of McLaughlin and Mostert into the hairpin for second place.
Rick Kelly also continued to show strong pace in the Castrol Racing Ford Mustang. He qualified in P8 and used the undercut strategy to similar effect to André to come home in sixth place.
The team has been able to manage the soft compound Dunlop tyre exceptionally well while other teams have suffered tyre blistering which has a dramatic negative impact on grip. The Kelly Mustangs have had no such issues which has allowed the drivers to do a long second stint and make the undercut strategy work to great effect.
In the final race of the weekend, André was once again able to get a great start in the NED Whisky Mustang and move up two places to P6 on the opening lap. André then went for a move on Shane Van Gisbergen, but was spun off the road when the Redbull driver clipped the rear of André's NED Mustang. Shane subsequently received a 15-second time penalty for his actions but it put André at the rear of the field.
André was able to recover nicely and finish P7 after dropping to P22 on lap one.
Rick's final race in the weekend was impacted by wheel nut issue in the pit stop which held him up, however he was still able to charge forward and finish in the top-ten in P8 - up nine places from his starting position.
André finished the weekend in second place for the overall Championship points scored, highlighting the pace in the NED Whisky Mustang this weekend.
The team looks forward to continuing its successes at The Bend next weekend in the second of the double-header events at this venue. Next weekend's event will see a different circuit layout utilized which will pose a new set of challenges to the drivers and engineering team.
André Heimgartner, #7 NED Racing
"I'm pretty happy with this weekend overall, we ended up second overall on Championship points for the round which is really good considering our last few rounds. Today's first race went really well getting second place which was an incredible achievement for the whole team considering the pace we've had at the last couple of rounds."
"In the second race I think we could have at least got on the podium, the car was extremely fast so it was a bit disappointing to get taken out but you have to make moves and try get further up and sometimes things like that happen. It was a good recovery still to end up seventh."
"Overall it was a great weekend, really positive to give the guys some strong results, and it gives us plenty of confidence heading into next weekend where the track will be a different layout but still quite similar."
Rick Kelly, #15 Castrol Racing
"It's been a really fun day and very good for the team to get these results after a challenging few rounds and being away from home, so to come here and have really fast cars and solid driving and great team work is great for us. There's still a few niggling issues that took results away from us and that's part of racing, every team has their story, for us it's all things that are pretty easy to fix."
"One of them was my qualifying lap in the second session, another one was a little pit stop thing, it's all small stuff the big thing that is hard to do is find car speed and that's what we have so I'm really excited by that. We maintained good pace all weekend and executed pretty well and we can head into next weekend with the different track layout with really good confidence."