Andre HeimgartnerThe present 2011 New Zealand Formula Ford Championship leader, Andre Heimgartner, today took his first ride onboard the Team BRM prepared, Mygale SJ09A, ahead of Round 1 of the Australian Formula Ford Championship at the Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide next week, March 17-20.

Heimgartner, 15, will fill the seat, vacated by Josh Burdon who was originally entered in the #31 car, racing alongside South Australian, Tom Goess. This will also be Andre’s first attempt at the Australian Championship, yet it won’t be his first drive on Aussie soil after competing with the Evans Motorsport Group in the Victorian
Formula Ford Championship in 2010.

Mallala Motorsport Park was today the scene of Andre’s initiation into the Team BRM stable. Being the only Formula Ford at the test day, it gave him a true opportunity to flex his talent, and display what he as to offer as one of the young stars of motorsport.

With Heimgartner able to blitz the time sheets in his first test, it has established a firm foundation ahead of the Clipsal event in a little over a week. Andre was ecstatic at his opening test, saying at the end, “I am truly happy not only with the car speed, but the professionalism of Team BRM, and this early pace will set me up well for Clipsal.

Andre HeimgartnerAndre was able to lap the 2.6km South Australian circuit in a time of 1:11.3 by the days completion, which is said to be 5 tenths quicker than drivers in the past. Team BRM Team Principal, Mark Rundle said following the test, “We are really pleased at the fantastic effort of Andre in his first practice, with poor conditions, the times eclipsed anything first expected”, Rundle further went on to say, “He (Andre) was quicker than anyone had ever been in the past, in the same position, and with him being so comfortable with the car and team, we are confident of a strong result at the Clipsal”

This weekend, will also see Heimgartner battle it out in the decider for the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship, which, if won, will see him go down as the youngest ever winner of a Formula Ford Championship in the World.

The association between Andre and Team BRM is one that comes with strong history, as the last 3 New Zealand Formula Ford Champions have raced with the Adelaide based outfit.

While future rounds of the Australian Championship for Heimgartner are undecided at this stage, his sole aim is to gain strong results at the Clipsal 500, and to continue to improve his exposure and build on some already strong grounding as a 15 year old star and future champion of World Motorsport.