The Bend Supercars: Heimgartner wins despite penalty
Andre Heimgartner took a career-first Supercars race win at The Bend despite having to clear a five-second penalty.
The race got off to a wild start in damp conditions, with three different leaders on the opening lap.
The first was Chaz Mostert, who got the best of the start from the outside of the front row.
Behind him Heimgartner and Anton De Pasquale bashed doors as they squabbled over second place, the latter winning out after running side-by-side through the first couple of corners.
Mostert then ran wide which allowed De Pasquale to grab the lead, only for the Dick Johnson Racing driver to run wide himself at the very next corner.
That opened the door for Heimgartner to slide into the lead.
Once in front there was no stopping the Kelly Grove Racing ace, a dominant first stint leaving him 7s clear of the field.
KGR then very nearly threw the win away with a costly mistake during Heimgartner's Lap 7 stop. He was released straight into the side of Jamie Whincup resulting in a five-second penalty.
He had the pace to build the gap, but spent the rest of the race at risk of a late Safety Car costing him dearly.
Luckily for him the race ran green to the end, Heimgartner taking a career-first Supercars win by 3.9s once the penalty was applied.
"[The team] never told me [about the penalty]. I knew. When we had contact I was like, oh geez that just made it a lot harder for myself and I knew I had to get five seconds," said Heimgartner.
"On the last lap it was 4.5 seconds so I just knew but they didn’t tell me.
"I’m just over the moon that I was able to get that five seconds and get the win.
“I’m just relieved. It’s been a long time, I was in and out of the category. Thankfully Todd [Kelly] gave me the chance to come back into the category and race for his team and it’s been really good so far."
Mostert finished second ahead of De Pasquale and Cam Waters, the Ford pair spending the last few laps locked in battle with Nick Percat.
The BJR driver was a surprise contender in the race after starting dead last off the back of the team's horror showing in qualifying.
The team then opted to start three of its cars, including Percat, on slicks, a move that paid off beautifully. The slick quickly became the tyre to be on, Percat able to run long – until four laps from home – as he moved his way up the field.
He re-joined fourth after making his stop and was in the fight for the podium, only to make a small mistake on the last lap. That meant he had to settle for fifth.
Triple Eight had a tough day by its standards, headlined by jammed air spike hose during Shane van Gisbergen's stop.
The Kiwi then made good headway only to take an off-track excursion with a few laps to go.
The points leader ended up seventh, one place behind teammate Jamie Whincup.
|1||7||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT|
|2||25||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||3.979|
|3||11||Anton De Pasquale||Ford Mustang GT||8.913|
|4||6||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||10.459|
|5||8||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||10.778|
|6||88||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||11.916|
|7||97||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||25.374|
|8||17||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||27.450|
|9||99||Brodie Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||31.996|
|10||5||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||33.386|
|11||9||Will Brown||Holden Commodore ZB||36.619|
|12||44||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||37.802|
|13||20||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||39.447|
|14||3||Tim Slade||Ford Mustang GT||39.766|
|15||14||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||43.555|
|16||2||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||43.721|
|17||55||Thomas Randle||Ford Mustang GT||44.567|
|18||35||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||45.857|
|19||27||Kurt Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||55.247|
|20||19||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore ZB||55.638|
|21||34||Jake Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||1'00.297|
|22||96||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1'00.351|
|23||4||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||1'17.281|
|24||22||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||1'32.548|
|25||18||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||2 Laps|
|26||David Reynolds||Ford Mustang GT||13 Laps|
|View full results|
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