Super Black Racing has completed its first and only test day at Winton Raceway ahead of the Bathurst 1000 with both drivers running laps in the Ford Performance Racing prepared Falcon for the first time.
Andre Heimgartner and Ant Pedersen have both been behind the wheel of the wildcard entry as the team prepares to take on the mountain next month.
The team’s manager Greg Hahn confirmed the test day went well for both New Zealand drivers with dry and warm conditions ensuring plenty of running.
“Both guys have had a run this morning, we started the car for the first time and both Ant and Andre are pretty happy,” Hahn said.
While Andre Heimgartner has turned laps at test days for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport and Dick Johnson Motorsport, the test session marked Pedersen’s first drive in a current spec V8 Supercar.
Super Black Racing, who announced its wildcard entry in July with support from Ford Performance Racing (FPR), had main game driver Chaz Mostert, team principal Tim Edwards and team manager Chris O’Toole on hand to support the drivers with David Reynolds’ race engineer, Nathaniel Osborne, running the car at the test.
Hahn believes the alliance with FPR will help them out greatly come race day.
“We’ve got a good combination of drivers and expertise so we’re really lucky and comfortable with FPR and what they’ve done today. So we’re quietly optimistic with how we run.”
Dunlop Series driver Heimgartner faces a busy Bathurst weekend as the series (in which he currently sits third overall) will run a 250km mini-enduro on the Saturday before the main race. He will be partnered by Steve Owen, Mark Winterbottom’s co-driver.
“I’ve never really done anything like it before, so it will be really interesting to see how I cope with the different types of cars and jumping in and out, so I think it will be beneficial. I’ll get lots and lots of laps, so hopefully that will help me out,” Heimgartner said.
Nineteen year old Heimgartner also acknowledged the added excitement of Super Black Racing representing New Zealand in the Great Race.
“Definitely interesting and has boosted the profile – it’s a lot bigger. If I just drove for someone else, I don’t think it’d get much media coverage, but because it’s a New Zealand thing, it’s fabulous that people have just latched onto it and really gotten into it.”
Hahn echoed the teen’s sentiments regarding the New Zealand connection.
“V8s and Bathurst, we’ve watched it for 30 or 40 years, so it’s very much a part of New Zealand and a part of our DNA – so it’s great we’ve got another national team out here again and running through it.
“Bathurst is the biggest event on the calendar, so we’re not here for just a barbecue, we’re coming to give the hill a good nudge.”
Super Black Racing will take on the Mountain with the rest of the main series drivers on October 9-12.