Andre Heimgartner is a racing driver from New Zealand who currently competes in the Australian Supercars Championship with Kelly Racing. Heimgartner made Supercars debut in 2014, scoring two podiums since then.
In other competitions, he most recently won New Zealand's V8 Touring Cars Championship in 2018 and finished second in the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia. Earlier in a career, he was multiple Formula Ford champion in New Zealand.
The youngest Formula Ford champion in the world
Born in June 1995 in Auckland, Andre Heimgartner started his racing career as the 12-year-old kid in the Formula First. In 2009, he switched to Formula Ford, winning South Island's championship and finishing sixth in the national Formula Ford Championship.
Next year, in the season 2010-2011, he became the youngest Formula Ford champion in the world. He won eight out of eighteen races. Heimgartner defended his Formula Ford title in the season 2011-2012, winning eleven races in one season.
Carrera Cup and V8 SuperTourer debut in 2012
In 2012, it was time to leave single-seaters and made a debut in touring cars and GT cars. He entered the inaugural season of the New Zealand-based V8 SuperTourer Series, driving a Holden VE Commodore for AV8 Motorsport. His best results were fifth place in the endurance race at Hampton Downs and fifth place in the sprint race at Taupo Motorsport Park.
In the same year, Heimgartner also raced in the Australian Porsche Carrera Cup, driving for Team Kiwi Racing. He scored no wins or podiums, finishing seventh in the final classification.
Moving to Australian Supercars in 2013
Heimgartner's main competition in 2013 was the Dunlop V8 Supercars Series, a development series for the major Supercars Championship. Driving the #64 Ford Falcon for Dick Johnson's Finance EZI Racing, he scored the maiden victory at Queensland Raceway. His other results were not so good and he finished just 20th in the points at the end of the season.
He also raced in New Zealand's V8 SuperTourer Series with MPC Motorsport's Holden, scoring two podiums to finish seventh in the points.
His notable success that year was the class victory at Bathurst 12 Hour. He was driving a BMW 335i together with co-drivers Anthony Gilbertson and Peter O'Donnell, taking a victory in Class D.
Eleventh place in Bathurst 1000 debut in 2014
In 2014, Heimgartner stayed in the Dunlop V8 Supercars Series, joining MW Motorsport to drive the #26 Ford FG Falcon. He won at Barbagallo Raceway and added two more podiums to his account, finishing fifth in the points.
In October 2014, Heimgartner made a debut in the greatest Australian race, the Bathurst 1000. He was driving the #111 Ford FG Falcon for Super Black Racing, sharing a car with Ant Pedersen. They were just 23rd qualifiers but finished the race in the eleventh place.
2015 – the first full season in the Supercars Championship
Between seasons 2014 and 2015, Heimgarter raced in New Zealand's SuperTourer Championship, driving his own Holden Commodore and finishing second in the points.
In 2015, Heimgartner made a step up with Super Black Racing to participate full season in the International V8 Supercars Championship. He was driving the #111 Ford Falcon, sharing it with Ant Pedersen in endurance races.
He recorded just three results in the top 10 before he was replaced by Chris Pither for the last two rounds. He didn't finish the race at Mount Panorama. Heimgartner finished the season 24th in the points.
A season with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport in 2016
After leaving Super Black Racing, Heimgartner joined Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport to drive the #3 Holden VF Commodore in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
He had no top ten results and finished 25th in the points, the last among full-time drivers. His endurance co-driver was Aaren Russell and they didn't finish Bathurst 1000.
Carrera Cup vice-champion in 2017
Heimgartner had no full-time seat in the 2017 Supercars Championship and he raced occasionally in different competitions, including Blancpain GT Series Asia, Australian Production Car Series or FRD LMP3 Series.
His full-time job was at the wheel of the #777 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the Australian Carrera Cup. He won five races and finished as a vice-champion, just twenty points behind David Wall.
Maiden Supercars podium at Surfers Paradise in 2017
Heimgartner returned to the Supercars Championship as an endurance co-driver for Brad Jones Racing. He and Tim Slade finished ninth at Bathurst 1000 in the #14 Holden.
Then, Heimgartner reached his maiden Supercars podium by finishing third in the first race of the Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise. The day later, in the second race, he and Slade were 22nd.
New Zealand's touring car champion in 2018
Between seasons 2017 and 2018, Heimgartner raced in New Zealand's BNT V8s Championship, driving the #71 Toyota Camry for Richards Team Motorsport.
He scored wins in five of six rounds, collecting eight wins over the season, and take the championship title ahead of his teammate Jason Bargwanna.
Returning full time to Supercars in 2018 with Nissan
Heimgartner made a full-time return to the Supercars Championship in 2018, joining Kelly Racing-operated Nissan Motorsport to drive the #7 Nissan Altima, as a replacement for Todd Kelly who retired from racing. Heimgartner was four times in the top ten, finishing 17th in the final standings. His endurance partner was Aaren Russell, finishing 16th at Bathurst 1000.
For the 2019 season, Kelly Racing lost Nissan's support but continues to run four Altimas. Heimgartner stayed in the #7 car and scored his second Supercars podium in a career by finishing third in Saturday's race at Phillip Island.
Photos: Andre Heimgartner,