FOGG LEADS CALTEX CHARGE AT RAIN-LASHED TERETONGA PARK Caltex Racing Star Mart Ford Falcon driver Angus Fogg continued his strong run of form at the third round of the 2005/06 Parker ENZED NZ V8s Championship at Invercargill's Teretonga Park...
FOGG LEADS CALTEX CHARGE AT RAIN-LASHED TERETONGA PARK
Caltex Racing Star Mart Ford Falcon driver Angus Fogg continued his strong run of form at the third round of the 2005/06 Parker ENZED NZ V8s Championship at Invercargill's Teretonga Park this weekend.
Fogg topped the time sheets in qualifying, won the first race, then fought back from an off-track excursion while leading the second race (in which he eventually crossed the line in sixteenth position) to fight for the lead and eventually be credited with finishing second in the incident-marred and eventually red-flagged third and final race.
The result was second place overall for the weekend, just three points behind overall winner, fellow Ford driver Mark Pedersen.
To underline the strength of his performance Fogg set the fastest race lap in the second race and had just taken the lead in the third race when it was red flagged because of the hail showers lashing the circuit.
When a race is red-flagged the results are declared a lap before the red flag comes out - at which point Fogg was in second place and about to mount his daring 'round-the-outside-move' on Mark Pedersen around the Teretonga Park circuit's infamous ' Loop' corner.
Caltex Racing teammate Paul Pedersen also had a productive weekend setting the third fastest time in qualifying and finishing third in the first race, and seventh in the both the second and the third races.
Conditions at the country's southern-most motor racing circuit were some of the most trying drivers competing in this year's Paul Kelly Motor Company Series have ever raced in, with cool, dry conditions turning to rain on Saturday then rain and hail showers on Sunday.
Despite that Fogg started the weekend the way he - almost - finished it, leading the first 10 lap race from start to finish, with Paul Pedersen holding a watching brief in third.
Not even a 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.
Fogg also led all but the last four laps of the second Parker ENZED NZ V8s race on Sunday morning until inexplicably sliding off the track at the back of the circuit. Though he was able to continue he holed his Star Mart Ford Falcon's radiator on the way back onto the track and slipped back down the order as the engine overheated and its performance dropped off.
After the race Fogg was at a loss to know why he speared off the track, explaining that up until that point everything had been 100 %.
"The wet tyres had obviously gone off (in performance) because the track was drying out but I just came through the right hander before the hairpin and the car just understeered off the track. I thought I must have picked up a flat tyre or something but that wasn't the case."
Because the engine had overheated the Fogg's Caltex Racing crew members had to do an engine change before the third race, but the news was not all bad. The 16th place finish in the second race gave Fogg third spot on the reverse top eight grid for the third race!
Coincidentally, teammate Paul Pedersen found himself in a similar position after being forced to relinquish third place on the grid for the second race.
Pedersen's Caltex Havoline car refused to start before the race and his crew members were forced to do a battery change while the rest of the cars were on their warmup lap and the Caltex Havoline driver had to start the race from pit lane.
Despite that handicap he ended up crossing the finishing line in seventh place after passing more than 20 cars, one of the single most impressive 'front-the-bacl' charges of the weekend.
All up the weekend was a productive one for the International Motorsport-run Caltex Racing team with Fogg consolidating sixth place in the championship points standings, and closing to with 22 points of fifth placed fellow Ford driver Mark Pedersen and Caltex Havoline driver Paul Pedersen moving up from twelfth to tenth place, just 16 points behind ninth placed Holden Commodore driver Andrew Anderson.