For Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport driver Andre Heimgartner and his engineer Barry Haye, this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix event was all about sowing seeds for the future.
As a non-championship round of the V8 Supercars calendar, the Grand Prix presented the perfect opportunity for the pair to advance their driver-engineer relationship further in what was only their second event competing together.
While the young Kiwi struggled with mechanical issues throughout the weekend – results of 22nd (race one), 20th (race three), 22nd (race four), and a DNF with a flat tyre in race two saw him 24th in the meeting points – in terms of the long-term goal the weekend was a success.
“We had some dramas across the weekend with some engine issues and then under steer on Saturday before the flat tyre put paid to our efforts, but the team is working very hard, the potential in the car is clear, and we have a new engine in the works,” said Heimgartner.
“We were able to hold off faster cars, we had some good racing moments, and our starts were strong as well. It is just a matter of putting all the elements together and I think we can expect some good performance moving forward.
“An important part of that is the engineer-driver relationship. With Barry and I still learning about each other, this weekend was a very important chance for us to really get a handle on that relationship after the crazy intense start that was the Clipsal 500.
“This weekend, and particularly in the last race for the weekend where I comfortably held off a competitor that had a faster car, Barry has learnt a lot about my driving style which will reap benefits for us in the future.
“At the same time, I have learnt a lot about him and how he works, and I am feeling really confident about moving forward with him in my corner as we look to go back to championship racing in Tasmania in two weeks’ time (April 1-3).”
Heimgartner’s attention now turns to the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint at Symmons Plains Raceway across April 1-3.