ANDRE HEIMGARTNER TO LEAVE KELLY GROVE RACING

Andre Heimgartner. Pic: supplied

THE Supercars silly season has taken a twist with news that Andre Heimgartner is set to part ways with Kelly Grove Racing at the conclusion of 2021.

KGR has confirmed the move amid rampant speculation over the 26-year-old Kiwi’s future.

Heimgartner joined what was then Kelly Racing in 2018 after a year out of the category and has since built himself into one of Supercars’ hottest prospects.

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Heimgartner scored a maiden win in his 161st Supercars race start at Tailem Bend earlier this season, which doubled as a first for the team in its current Kelly Grove Racing guise.

The squad will become Grove Racing next year following a complete takeover by the Grove Group, but will do so with a new driver alongside David Reynolds.

Heimgartner’s plans are currently unclear, although it’s thought that he already has another seat locked away.

Andre Heimgartner. Pic: Supplied

KGR co-owner Stephen Grove says Heimgartner will leave the team with his blessing, but is yet to confirm a replacement driver for the team’s #7 Ford Mustang.

“This hasn’t been an easy decision for either party but it became apparent over our discussions that it would be best for André and his career to start a new chapter and challenge,” he said.

“When the time comes, he will leave us with my blessing and huge goodwill from every single member of the team.

“We’re proud of everything André has achieved with Kelly Grove Racing, but for now, we continue to focus on the rest of the 2021 championship and finishing as strong as possible.”

Heimgartner added via social media: “I will forever be thankful for Todd and the whole Kelly family for taking a chance on me when I was down and out.

“Looking forward to new and exciting opportunities ahead.”