Race 18 pole-sitter Andre Heimgartner suffered a steering issue that ended his hopes of a solid result in the 51-lap night race at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The Kiwi had put the R&J Batteries #8 Camaro on pole position with a stunning lap time but was swallowed up off the start line by Brodie Kostecki, who was alongside him off the front row, as well as the second Erebus entry of Will Brown and the Tickford Mustang of Cam Waters.
Fifth at the end of the first lap, Heimgartner conserved his tyres as he fell to seventh by Lap 3, carrying out his compulsory pit-stop and fuel drop on Lap 25, the mid-point of the race.
The later stop – with Kostecki having made his first of two stops on Lap 19 – revealed Heimgartner to be a one-stop strategy, which saw him emerge as race contender and threat to Kostecki.
Still on for a solid result, steering issues ended the strong showing from Heimgartner.
“It was just unfortunate, had a good starting position and then the car wasn't particularly fast at the start and went back a little bit and then steering started to fade in and out,” he explained.
“With 25 laps to go, it completely shit itself and we just managed to hang on for 14th. So it was pretty good considering.”
“It's good for the team to get pole position finally and it's good to start right at the front again. So it's good that everyone had speed – Bryce had speed, all the [BJR] cars at some point had good speed.”