01 Dec 2017
THE final pieces of the 2018 Supercars grid puzzle are falling into place with confirmation of Andre Heimgartner taking up Todd Kelly’s seat at Nissan Motorsport, and Will Davison moving to the new 23Red team.
Heimgartner joins 2006 series champion Rick Kelly, as well as Michael Caruso and Simona de Silvestro in the Braeside-based outfit.
“I’m delighted to reveal that I’ll be joining Nissan Motorsport next year,” said Heimgartner.
“The team and the facility are world class. Rick and Michael both have heaps of experience in Supercars, plus Simona has raced Indycar and Formula E, so I hope to learn a lot.”
Brilliant wet-weather driving at Bathurst and Surfers Paradise in this year’s PIRTEK Enduro Cup grabbed the attention of the field, where he helped Tim Slade to ninth at Mount Panorama and the podium in the first 300km leg of the Gold Coast 600.
Todd Kelly, who now steps into full-time team management, said Heimgartner’s strong co-driving performance for Tim Slade at Bathurst (ninth) and Surfers Paradise (third in race one) grabbed the attention of the team.
“We’re really excited to have Andre as part of the team,” said Kelly.
“Andre is a really promising talent and has experience in the main game.
“Our line-up for next season is now pretty diverse but also extremely capable. What Andre was able to achieve in the Pirtek Enduro Cup made the entire paddock stand up and take notice.”
Davison will join 23Red – a joint venture between Lucas Dumbrell, Phil Munday and managed by former Holden driver Cameron McConville.
The news comes amid reports of the team signing a major three-year sponsorship ahead of a livery reveal next week.
Davison's move frees up a seat at Tekno Autosports, with that seat set to go the way of Jack Le Brocq.
The only other vacant drive in pitlane is the fourth position at Prodrive Racing Australia with Kiwi Richie Stanaway expected to take that position.
The Adelaide 500 will run from Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 March 2018. Tickets are on sale now.
MORE ON ADELAIDE500.COM.AU
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- Hazelwood and Matt Stone Racing step into Supercars
- Bright and Kelly retire from full-time racing