Last weekend’s Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships event at Phillip Island hosted the welcome sound of the National Sports Sedan Series, which has moved quite some way since John McCormack’s Charger as featured yesterday.
However, star drivers do dabble in the category still as proven by Andre Heimgartner returning to the field at Phillip Island in the Duggan Family Racing Aston Martin DBRS9 Chevrolet.
Built at the start of the decade by multiple Sports Sedan champion Kerry Bailey, who added another title with it in 2012 before transferring to New South Welshman Mark Duggan a few seasons ago where it has since been continually updated.
Heimgartner’s first taste of this wickedly fast Aston Martin was last year at Wakefield Park where current Repco Supercars rival Thomas Randle also suited up in his family-owned Saab 9-3 Chevrolet.
It was a difficult start, but successful end to the weekend with the Kiwi ace taking victory in the final race.
Heading into a new National Sports Sedan Series season, Heimgartner’s key rivals include the Holden Calibra of Steve Tamasi, plus young Jordan Caruso in the John Gourlay owned Audi previously driven by Jack Perkins and Darren Hossack.
Third in qualifying provided a great start as Heimgartner held the position in Race 1, but retirement followed in the second, which wasn’t able to be repaired for the final.
“Round 1 at Phillip Island didn’t go quite to plan for us, we had a few issues,” Heimgartner summarised.
“There were definitely some positive signs. In each session we made great progress and in that last one we were right on the two front guys, who have their cars extremely sorted around this track.
“Some good positives, but not the way we wanted to end it. Mark and the team have put a lot of effort into the car, but going forward we know where we need to improve on the car, so it’s only going to get stronger in the future.”
Although some rounds clash with his Repco Supercars commitments, Heimgartner is eager to continuing racing the Aston Martin.
“I’d love to do some more rounds, we’ll have to work it out,” he explained.
“It’s a great series, great racing and can’t wait to be back.”