CALTEX RACING FORD FALCONS IN THE THICK OF THE ACTION AT MANFEILD The Caltex Racing Ford Falcons of Paul Pedersen and Angus Fogg were in the thick of the action - albeit in three cases for the wrong reasons - at the fifth round of the 2004/05...
CALTEX RACING FORD FALCONS IN THE THICK OF THE ACTION AT MANFEILD
The Caltex Racing Ford Falcons of Paul Pedersen and Angus Fogg were in the thick of the action - albeit in three cases for the wrong reasons - at the fifth round of the 2004/05 Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship at Feilding's Manfeild Autocourse today.
Former class champion Paul Pedersen put in one of the drives of the meeting to make his way from 27th place at the start to fifth at the line in the final 16 lap reverse top ten grid race of the weekend but the satisfaction of a job well done was tempered by the fact that he had been unceremoniously punted out of the first and second races.
In the first race Caltex Havoline driver Pedersen was working his forward from his fifth row starting position and was in what looked like a safe seventh position with two laps to go when he was hit and sent spinning off the track by Shane Drake.
Drake also spun but was able to continue. Pedersen however had to drive back to the pits and park the Caltex car with damage to the front end.
With grid positions determined by finishing positions in the previous race Pedersen then had to start the second race from 22nd place on the grid, rather than the tenth place he qualified at.
That he made up 10 places in eight laps should have been reason to celebrate but this time he was hit by Craig Boote. Boote received a 30 second time penalty, sending him back to 30th place, but that was of little consolation for Pedersen who was passed by the majority of the field as he struggled to get back on the track and was only able to make up two places (from 24th to 22nd) on the two laps remaining.
"It's very frustrating," the former class champion and runner-up for the past two seasons, said after the third race. "We don't need to be punted in one race let alone two. That incident with Drake, I got past him cleanly, so there was no need for it you know, and in the second race, well, what can you say? I just got cleaned up. I was up to twelfth at that stage and I would have made the top ten easy. But what can you do?"
If you are Paul Pedersen you can keep your cool and wait until the third race, which - as it turned out - was a classic for the Caltex Havoline Ford driver.
Explaining how he was able to get from P22 on the grid to fifth at the line Pedersen said that after the first two races it was a matter of 'what have we got to lose?'
"I said to the guys,let's just treat it as a test session and see where we end up. And the car was good, very good. We had been struggling all weekend really, but the car was good in that last race. Brady Kennett. Kayne Scott. Wade Henshaw. It was just a matter of hurrying them along because, you know, they were slow. I drove aggressively but the attitude was, nothing else can go wrong can it?"
As it turned out it did. But for teammate Angus Fogg, not Pedersen.
In contrast to Pedersen, Fogg had a fair first race and an excellent second one, starting ninth and finishing the Safety Car-interrupted first race in tenth position then moving up from tenth place to sixth in the eventful second one
Things were looking good in the final reverse top ten grid final as well (which he started from the second row of the grid) but just after an early re-start Fogg was hit from behind as he accelerated away from the hairpin.
Though he was able to continue, any chance of a top five place on his own was lost, and Fogg eventually pitted for good with three laps to go when what turned out to be a holed radiator sent his Caltex Vortex car's water temperature gauge soaring.
Having been third fastest in the warm-up on Sunday morning then finished two of the three races in a competitive position Fogg was philosophical about the weekend, pointing out that the two Caltex Racing Ford Falcons are now firmly established in the 'cars-to-beat' category and that with the pace there, the next step is to finally break the handling and set-up code.
"We're getting more and more of a handle on what makes these cars work and what doesn't, and the cars are fast on race weekends, but to take the next step we are going have to do some dedicated testing so we can hit the ground running at the (next round of the 2004/05 Parker ENZED series) at Taupo.
That round - the penultimate one for the 04/05 series - will be run at the Taupo Motor Racing circuit over the March 12/13 weekend.
<pre> Race 1- 10 laps 1. McIntyre 14.56.481 2. Booth +1.348 3. Henshaw +1.723 4. Scott +2.912 5. Perkins +8.996 6. Proctor +9.438 7. Fawcett +9.660 8. Carlyle +10.073 9. M. Pedersen +11.618 10. Angus Fogg* +11.958 11. Templeman +14.026 12. Lambert +14.703 13. Williams +15.462 14. Kennett +15.703 15. Craig Boote +16.544 16. Dean McMillan +17.736 17. Mike Pero +18.666 18. Nick Ross +19.367 19. Michael Wallace +20.272 20. Michael Thom +20.893 DNF Paul Pedersen* 9 laps
Race 2 -- 10 laps 1. McIntyre 2. Booth +0.906 3. Henshaw +1.617 4. Scott +3.767 5. Proctor +5.351 6. Angus Fogg* +5.480 7. Perkins +7.021 8. Kennett +7.782 9. Manuell +7.955 10. Drake +8.657 11. Lambert +10.811 12. Templeman +12.110 13. Anderson +14.371 14. Mackenzie +16.714 15. Fawcett +17.552 16. Ross +17.861 17. Thom +18.130 18. McMillan +18.316 19. Shivas +19.791 20. Williams +20.308 21. Paul Pedersen* +20.491
Race 3 -- 16 laps (reverse top ten grid) 1. Booth 7.08.194 2. McIntyre +3.290 3. Drake +3.610 4. Mark Pedersen +9.310 5. Paul Pedersen* +11.397 6. Perkins +13.427 7. Kennett +14.381 8. Proctor +14.579 9. Lambert +17.897 10. Carlyle +20.841 11. Boote +21.899 12. Thom +22.451 13. Ross +23.503 14. Henshaw +30.547 15. Anderson +31.043 16. Williams +31.641 17. Shivas +32.618 18. Wallace +32.930 19. Manuell +33.718 20. Huziff +33.975 DNF Angus Fogg*
Points after Rnd 5 of 7 1. Wade Henshaw 931 2. Andy Booth 851 3. John McIntyre 740 4. Kayne Scott 704 5. Paul Manuell 625 6. Shane Drake 615 7. Mark Pedersen 561 8. Paul Pedersen* 541 9. Dean Perkins 412 10. Andrew Anderson 392 11. Michael Thom 379 12. Clark Proctor 329 13. Craig Boote 324 14. Nick Ross 311 15. Michael Wallace 293 16. Adam Brook 272 17. Angus Fogg* 269 18. Dale Lambert 261 19. Kevin Williams 261 20. Andrew Fawcett 237
* Caltex Racing Ford Falcon