Motorsport: Post race penalty can't stop Kiwi Andre Heimgartner claiming first career Supercars victory in dominant fashion

Kiwi Andre Heimgartner has claimed his first career Supercars victory to dominate race nine of the series at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia. 

Heimgartner claimed a second career pole on Saturday afternoon before dominating the race to claim his first-ever victory in his 161st appearance. 

The Kiwi didn't make it easy for himself, as he was served with a post-race time penalty for a pit lane infringement but it wasn't enough to stop him from claiming victory in a mix of wet and dry conditions. 

The 25-year-old lost the lead at turn one of the opening lap to Australian Chaz Mostert but he didn't keep the lead for long as an error at turn five still on the first lap allowed Anton De Pasquale to force his way past and into the lead.

The drama of the first lap wasn't over when Heimgartner stormed back to the front when he easily passed De Pasquale at turn six and from there he never looked back. 

The Aucklander easily increased his lead by gaining a second each lap on his rivals. By lap five, the Kiwi had blown his lead out to 6.2s over Mostert. 

Heimgartner pitted on lap seven and was released into the path of Jamie Whincap which saw the Kiwi handed a five-second post-race penalty. 

The Kiwi continued to extend his lead and by the halfway stage of the 24 lap race he had an 8.4s lead over Mostert and with the penalty hanging over his head, Heimgartner shot the fastest lap of the race on lap 17, and eked the margin to Mostert to over nine seconds.

Heimgartner had no issues storming home for his first victory nearly seven years after his championship debut and claimed Ford's first since September 2020.

Fellow Kiwi Shane Van Gisbergen struggled to finish seventh is the worst result of the season and his day was hampered by a poor pit stop that saw him lose nearly 10 seconds after a pit crew member struggled to reach the car with the air spike coupling.