Andre Heimgartner will remain with Kelly Racing for the 2020 Supercars Championship season as teammate to co-owner Rick Kelly, with the squad scaling back to two cars and switching to Ford Mustang power next year.
“It is great to have Andre locked away for the future and ensures that we have a strong line-up across our two Mustangs for 2020,” said Kelly Racing co-owner Todd Kelly.
“It is important that we future-proof the team and, at only 24, Andre has many years of driving ahead of him.
“In the last two years, it has been terrific to witness first-hand Andre’s development as a driver and with the opportunities ahead next year there’s no doubt that he’ll be highly competitive in a Mustang.”
The New Zealander has reportedly signed a “multi-year” agreement with Kelly Racing and has spent two seasons with the squad following previous stints with the now-defunct Super Black Racing and LD Motorsports outfits n 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Considered one of the untapped talents in the Supercars Championship, Heimgartner has been hampered by Kelly Racing’s venerable Nissan Altima package and achieved its sole podium finish of the 2019 season with third place in the opening Phillip Island SuperSprint race.
“Kelly Racing backed me to return to Supercars, and it’s fantastic to lock down the future and continue this journey together,” he said.
“It was always my preference to stick by the team that has supported me and the opportunities for next year are really the icing on the cake.
“The change to the Ford Mustang for next year, and working with Ford Performance, has everyone in the team excited, and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel.
“That said, I have an important job to finish off this season on a high after a challenging couple of events, and with our recent pace, feel we can be in a strong position at both Sandown and Newcastle.”
Kelly Racing’s finalisation of its 2020 driving line-up also acts as confirmation that both Garry Jacobson and Simona de Silvestro will need to look for drives elsewhere to stay in the series.
“Kelly Racing would like thank Simona de Silvestro for her commitment and contribution to the team over the last three seasons, and Garry Jacobson, who joined the team at the start of the 2019 season and has also been a terrific team player,” added Kelly.
“Both Simona and Garry are great drivers, and we wish them all the best for their future.”
Jacobson is considered a likely candidate to join an expanded Matt Stone Racing team next year, while the next destination for Porsche’s recently appointed Formula E test driver de Silvestro – who became the first full-time female driver in Supercars’ history – remains unclear.
|2020 Australian Supercars Championship – Predicted Entry List|
|DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Scott McLaughlin|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||Jamie Whincup||Shane van Gisbergen|
|Erebus Motorsport||David Reynolds||Anton de Pasquale|
|Tickford Racing||Cameron Waters||Lee Holdsworth*|
|Tickford Racing||Jack Le Brocq*|
|23Red Racing (Tickford Racing)||Will Davison|
|Brad Jones Racing||Nick Percat||TBA|
|Brad Jones Racing||Jack Smith*|
|Tim Blanchard Racing (BJR)||Macauley Jones*|
|Kelly Racing||Rick Kelly||Andre Heimgartner|
|Team 18||Mark Winterbottom||TBA|
|Matt Stone Racing||Garry Jacobson*||TBA|
|TEKNO / One World||James Courtney||TBA|
|Walkinshaw Andretti United||Chaz Mostert*||TBA|
* To be officially confirmed, but considered highly likely
Image via Kelly Racing
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