CALTEX CARS DOMINATE FIRST V8 RACE AT INVERCARGILL
There was celebration in the Caltex Racing camp at Invercargill's Teretonga Park motor racing circuit this afternoon as team engineer driver Angus Fogg (Caltex StarMart Ford Falcon V8) claimed pole position in qualifying and convincingly won the first Parker ENZED NZ V8s championship race.
The win was the first in the category for Fogg and the International Motorsport-run Caltex Racing team and was made even sweeter by a fine backup performance by teammate Paul Pedersen (Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon) who qualified and finished the action-packed, Safety Car-interrupted 10 lap race third.
Both Caltex Racing cars have shown race-winning potential since the start of the 2005/06 season, with Fogg claiming pole position at the first round at Pukekohe Park and Pedersen setting the second fastest qualifying time at the second round at Christchurch's Powerbuilt International Raceway at Ruapuna Park.
But at the first round both cars were slowed by a tyre blistering problem and at the second Pedersen was sent spinning out of first place in the first race of the weekend, and Fogg's car was damaged as another driver swerved to avoid Pedersen's
All that was forgotten at Teretonga today as Fogg and Pedersen enjoyed a trouble-free race.
Not even the Safety Car intervention for four laps early in the race - while Brent Collins' damaged Holden Commodore was attended to - could upset the Caltex 1-3, with Fogg controlling the pace beautifully as he led the field to the start/finish line then slowly edged away from second-placed Ford driver John McIntyre.
McIntyre's line was better the first time the pair had to drive through the grass and mud left on the track after the Collins incident but Fogg stayed in front despite the best efforts by McIntyre.
"I tried to size it up the lap before to see which would be the best way to go, " explained Fogg, "but there are 30 other cars behind you and you don't know what they're going to do so I went mid to low and Johnny went wide and high.
"That turned out to be the right thing to do that lap but after that it cleaned up quite quickly and the low line was fine.
Paul Pedersen had the Holden Commodores of Andy Booth, Paul Manuell and Kayne Scott all over him at the re-start but he retained third place to the flag, crossing the finishing line just over half a second behind McIntyre to make it an all-Ford podium.
Commenting on the race Pedersen said that he could have done with a few more laps (to reel in McIntyre) but otherwise; "I'm just happy just to get through a race and actually finish it!"
The Invercargill round of the Parker ENZED NZ V8s Championship is always one of the best supported and there was a large crowd at Teretonga Park today to watch the action.
Tomorrow there are two more Parker ENZED NZ V8s Championship races, both of 18 laps, one in the morning, the other the afternoon. The Paul Kelly Motor Company Series then moves north to the Timaru International Motor Raceway for the fourth round next weekend.