A dream will come true this weekend for young Kiwi Andre` Heimgartner...
Who at the age of 17 will get the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of many other Kiwi drivers when he lines up at Bathurst, Mount Panorama, this weekend 5-7 October with Team Kiwi Racing in the all black Porsche GT3 Cup car.
Heimgartner couldn’t believe his luck earlier this year, when at the tender age of 16, TKR boss David John offered the young Kiwi the opportunity to race in Australia’s elite Porsche Carrera Cup series, which includes this weekend’s round at Mt Panorama.
Looking for a driver to compete in the eight round series against some of the best touring car drivers in the world, Heimgartner says the offer meant he could compete at an international level – and at Bathurst.
"I was simply blown away by the offer from TKR boss David John and am just so thankful for it. The opportunity fitted perfectly with my development goals – just that it came round sooner than my dad and I expected."
"I’d always admired what TKR had done for other drivers and their international exposure and experience – it was something I wanted to achieve too. Ironically I’d been collecting all the TKR die cast model cars over the years, now this year they are producing one of the car I’ve been driving – yes, TKR do make dreams come true!"
The latest driver in a string of talent TKR has provided opportunity and financial support to compete on the international motorsport stage, Heimgartner has proven he has potential beyond the experience of his years. Team boss David John says the ingredients are there for Andre` to one day become a professional racer.
"I believe with the guidance and on-going support of TKR we will see Andre` achieve plenty toward his goal of making a career of racing full time on the international motorsport stage. In fact Heimgartner has already been selected to be part of a number of international selection opportunities such as the recent Shannon’s V8 Supercar showdown where Heimgartner came second out of 20 contestants," says John.
Consolation news followed that see’s Heimgartner short listed as one of two drivers chosen to represent Australia and New Zealand for the opportunity to test for a full time seat in next year’s Porsche Supercup Championship. The series runs as a support race to many of the Formula One Championship events around the world.
Now en-route for Australia and the inland journey to the township of Bathurst for the weekend, Heimgartner will be behind the wheel of the TKR all Black machine for the team’s tenth start at the iconic race venue.
Originally constructed in 1938 the 6.213km circuit has a mix of long and short straights, sweeping bends, kinks and dips that wind alongside Mt Panorama.
The team arrived on Wednesday 3 October to begin preparations for the weekend racing at Bathurst with the first of two practise sessions starting early Thursday morning. Qualifying for the first of three races during the weekend takes place 8:45am Saturday morning. That is followed by a nine lap race from 12:15 and a second race starting at 5:30pm.
The third and final race starts at 8:35am Sunday morning – televised live as part of the race weekend activity.
A very impressive list of Kiwi drivers who Team Kiwi Racing have provided the opportunity to run at Bathurst in the TKR All Black machines over the years are: Jason Richards, Angus Fogg, Mark Porter, Simon Wills, Craig Baird, John Faulkner, Fabian Coulthard, Paul Radisich, John McIntyre, Shane van Gisbergen, Chris Pither, Kayne Scott. 2012: Andre` Heimgartner.