Heimgartner gets Gold Coast Supercars call-up

Andre Heimgartner will return to Brad Jones Racing for the Gold Coast 600, with regular co-driver Ash Walsh ruled out through injury.

Heimgartner gets Gold Coast Supercars call-up
 Tim Slade, Brad Jones Racing Holden
 Tim Slade, Brad Jones Racing Holden
 Nick Percat, Brad Jones Racing Holden, Tim Slade, Brad Jones Racing Holden
 Tim Slade, Brad Jones Racing Holden, Ash Walsh, Brad Jones Racing Holden
 Tim Slade, Brad Jones Racing Holden
 Ash Walsh, Brad Jones Racing Holden
Ash Walsh, Brad Jones Racing Holden
 Ash Walsh, Brad Jones Racing Holden

Walsh, signed to partner Tim Slade at BJR for the long-distance races, was injured in a testing crash at Phillip Island a week before the recent Bathurst 1000.

He travelled to Bathurst and completed several laps during Thursday’s practice, but ultimately elected to step down after struggling with bruising and rib injuries.

That meant Carrera Cup regular Heimgartner was given a last-minute call-up, taking over from Walsh for the Great Race.

The Kiwi is now set for his second start with BJR, Walsh conceding that he’s still not fit enough to return to action.

“It’s heartbreaking to miss out on these races with Sladey,” said Walsh.

“It’s not only a lot of fun, but the car has plenty of potential, so you always wish you were in there driving and gunning to win.

“The team have done a great job in looking after me and trying to get me back on track. They facilitated a lot of things to assist with my recovery, but unfortunately the ribs are a really difficult one to bounce back from.”

Heimgartner, who finished ninth at Bathurst alongside Slade, said he’s excited to return to BJR.

“After having such a good experience with Brad Jones Racing at Bathurst, I am ecstatic to have this call-up to race with the team on the Gold Coast this weekend,” he said.

“Despite the fact that my Bathurst drive with them was last-minute and Friday morning especially was a bit rushed as a result, I felt instantly comfortable with the team and they made me feel very welcome all weekend long with a friendly atmosphere which I really enjoyed.

“To get the call-up again for this weekend is an opportunity I wasn’t expecting, but which I am very grateful for. It is going to be another busy weekend, but one which I am very much looking forward to.

“Of course, I want to wish Ash Walsh a speedy recovery – I can’t imagine what he is going through at the moment and the last thing you want to do is take a seat away from someone, especially in this circumstance.

“Hopefully we will be able to see Ash in good health and back behind the wheel soon.”

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