Star Mart Ford Falcon driver Angus Fogg is third overall in the points standings after an eventful first round of the 2006/07 Parker ENZED NZ V8s championship at Pukekohe's Pukekohe Park over the weekend.

Fogg, who was the pace-setter in testing on Friday and who beat fellow Ford driver John McIntyre to pole position in qualifying on Saturday morning, recovered from a spin to finish 12th in the first race, second in the second and seventh in the reverse grid third race (after starting from 24th place on the grid!) to claim the final step on the all-Ford weekend podium behind overall winner David Besnard and runner-up John McIntyre

With a new brake package for the Fords and a new, stiffer control tyre across the field the weekend was all about tyre management and Fogg said afterwards that there was plenty of work to be done before the second round of the Parker ENZED series at the end of the month.

"To be fair the car didn't go too badly over the weekend but we've definitely got to get a better handle on these new tyres. The car was good in qualifying and in the lead-up but we've got some work to do with the chassis before Ruapuna."

Fogg's teammate in the International Motorsport squad, former series champ Paul Pederson (Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon), also had problems with the new control tyre, but it was the new reverse grid format of the weekend's third race which was behind an early end to his weekend.

After starting the final race from 14th position the Rotorua man slipped back to tenth as the grip deteriorated then had to park the car and begin a long walk back to the pits after a passing move on one of the slower drivers went wrong.

"It wasn't his fault and it wasn't mine," said Pedersen of the incident."I dived underneath him and he didn't see me. End of story."

Pedersen was also in the wars in Saturday's race, twice being punted off the track as he tried to work his way forward from his fourth row starting position.

He got a better run from the fourth row of the grid in the second race of the weekend on Sunday morning, but slowly slipped back through the field to eventually cross the line a hard-won eleventh as he lost grip.

"I've never had understeer like it," he said of his car's basic handling characteristic on the new control tyre. "There's nothing wrong with a bit of it, that's what these cars are like, but this is full lock-to-lock stuff."

The Parker ENZED NZ V8s Championship now heads south for the second round of the 2006/07 at Christchurch's Powerbuilt International Raceway at Ruapuna Park.

There is then a three-week break until the second round, at Christchurch's Powerbuilt International Raceway at Ruapuna Park over the November 25/26 weekend.

<pre> Race 2 (16 laps) 1. Besnard 16.40.8962 2. Fogg* +1.708 3. Youlden +2.310 4. McIntyre +5.891 5. McLean +10.221 6. Manuell +10.599 7. Perkins +11.598 8. Proctor +12.983 9. M. Pedersen +13.152 10. Booth +15.242 11. P. Pedersen** +16.867

Race 3 (20 laps) 1. Besnard 24.11.728 2. Scott +1.334 3. Booth +5.889 4. M. Pedersen +6.617 5. Henderson +9.207 6. McIntyre +10.155 7. Fogg* +17.091 8. Proctor +17.599 9. Perkins +17.940 10. Anderson +28.391 also DNF P. Pedersen**

*Star Mart Ford Falcon **Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon

-credit: cr