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Scooter helping Heimgartner scout Surfers secrets

ANDRE Heimgartner has taken a unique approach to get a headstart on his Gold Coast 500 preparations.

For the first time in his Repco Supercars Championship career, the Kiwi will next weekend call the Surfers Paradise streets his second home event.

Having moved to within close proximity of the circuit, Heimgartner has got an early jump on observing conditions for the first Gold Coast Supercars round in three years.

“I’ve already done a couple of sighter laps on a scooter, trying to figure out different places that have been repatched,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“It’s a bit different to when we were here a few years ago.”

FLASHBACK: When the Rat ruled the Gold Coast streets

Heimgartner enters the penultimate round of the season ultra-hungry after being wiped out of the recent Repco Bathurst 1000 before he’d even turned a lap in the race.

“We’re going to be pushing to get some results and reward people because there has been an unbelievable amount of work to rebuild the car since Bathurst and all because of nothing of our own doing,” he said.

Outside of four podiums, collisions have caused DNFs for Heimgartner at Symmons Plains, Albert Park, Tailem Bend and Bathurst.

“I think we would be sixth in the championship if we didn’t have the four or five DNFs now including Bathurst, which is effectively two or three DNFs in itself,” said the #8 Holden driver who instead holds ninth overall.

Heimgartner’s Holden under repair following Bathurst. Pic: Brad Jones Racing

“It has been bloody bad and most of them within reason haven’t been my fault, so it has been pretty disappointing.

“But at the same time we have made some good gains.

“We had a really good run of podiums and top 10s, top fives and consistency, so there’s some really good positives to take out of it but I guess going into next year our goal will obviously be minimising those DNFs.

“I think those DNFs mostly came when we qualified further back and then obviously stuff happens from there.

“I think it’s all heading in the right direction, we have got the new car next year, we just need to take a step forward and probably work on that for next year and just try to not be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The 27-year-old has tasted success on the Gold Coast before, combining with Tim Slade and BJR for third place in 2017 – a result which relaunched Heimgartner’s career.

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