ON Friday the Carrera Cup Australia series is set to make history with its longest ever single-driver race and Andre Heimgartner can’t wait.
The Kiwi native will race in the all-Porsche category at Mount Panorama for the first time in five years and will do so with the intent to close on the series lead.
Heimgartner currently sits second in the outright rankings on 795 points, David Wall the man who is leading on 863.
But given Heimgartner’s long time out of a Porsche seat – he’s happy with his progress.
“It’s been a pretty good year. You can always look back in hindsight and do a few things different, but overall it’s been pretty good,” he said.
“We’ve had a good car and it’s nice to be in contention for a championship. I am looking forward to hopefully a strong finish.
“This is my first time back to Bathurst since 2012 in a Porsche, so it should be pretty interesting.”
Since he placed seventh in the 2012 Carrera Cup, Heimgartner has done plenty of racing.
It includes a class win in the 2013 Bathurst 12 Hour and three starts in the Bathurst 1000, the most recent of which came last year for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.
Switching from a Supercar into a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car was something Heimgartner said went “surprisingly well” and he feels his Great Race experience will help him in the Bathurst round.
“I had no practice before the first round in Adelaide and I was on pole and won two out of three races. It is surprising how similar the cars are, but when we get to more technical tracks like Bathurst, it does become very much to do with the car and the little things you need to learn,” he said.
“Any experience you have at a track like this is invaluable and compared to other people in the category who haven’t had that experience, it definitely gives you a leg up.”
That theory will be put to the test on Friday afternoon with a 99.4 kilometre enduro – a history-maker for the Australian series.
It will better the existing mark 89.4km raced at the Gold Coast in 2004.
“It’s good, the longer races, I love them because they give you more opportunity to do stuff and for the race to play on,” Heimgartner said.
“A lot of the races are so short that you start, and just get into the rhythm and then it’s almost over. So it will be good to get some good laps.
“It’s Bathurst, there’s no better place to cut laps.
“I am always in favour of more racing, so I love the Endurance Cup format that Carrera Cup Australia have introduced.”
Race one of the Carerra Cup Bathurst round commences at 2.05pm on Friday. It will be followed by a nine-lap races on Saturday and Sunday.