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A new KGR deal for the out-of-contract Kiwi has long been considered a formality, given both his own impressive 2021 form and the investment in the team from the Grove family.
However KGR has today announced that Heimgartner won’t continue with the team beyond the end of the current campaign.
“This hasn’t been an easy decision for either party but it became apparent over our discussions that it would be best for André and his career to start a new chapter and challenge,” said KGR boss Stephen Grove.
“When the time comes, he will leave us with my blessing and huge goodwill from every single member of the team.”
“We’re proud of everything André has achieved with Kelly Grove Racing, but for now, we continue to focus on the rest of the 2021 Championship and finishing as strong as possible.”
Heimgartner joined KGR as a replacement for the retiring Todd Kelly ahead of the 2018 season, back when the squad was in the final year of its Nissan Motorsport deal.
He then continued into the ‘privateer’ era of Kelly Racing, holding onto his seat when the squad downsized and moved to Ford hardware for the 2020 season.
Heimgartner went on to take his first Supercars win with the team, now known as Kelly Grove Racing, in wet conditions at The Bend earlier this year.
This surprise split shakes up the driver market, with Heimgartner likely to be on the move to either Brad Jones Racing or Tickford Racing.
Both of those teams are yet to settle on their driver line-ups for 2022. Jack Le Brocq’s Tickford seat is thought to be at-risk, while BJR is yet to put pen to paper with Todd Hazelwood or Macauley Jones.
KGR, meanwhile, will need a new driver to partner David Reynolds for 2022.