CALTEX CARS REFRESHED AND READY FOR ROUND 3
The Caltex Racing Ford Falcon V8s of Paul Pedersen and Angus Fogg are refreshed and ready for the third round of the 2005/06 Parker ENZED NZ V8s Championship at Invercargill's Teretonga Park this weekend.
Both cars were damaged at the incident-marred second round of the 2005/06 series at Christchurch's Powerbuilt International Raceway at Ruapuna Park in late November last year but team driver/engineer Angus Fogg says that - if anything - they are now better than before.
"We took the opportunity to completely rebuild the engines and we've found some gains in doing that. We've also strengthened the areas round the front guards on both the cars so that hopefully we won't get a repeat of what happened to my car at Christchurch."
Fogg's car was hit a glancing blow in the aftermath of the first race/first corner incident which claimed teammate Paul Pedersen and though running repairs were made to both cars the damage - in terms of race placings and points - was done.
The Caltex Racing Ford Falcon V8s have been the pace-setters since the start of the 2005/06 season with Fogg driving the Caltex StarMart car claiming a season-starting pole position in qualifying at the first round at Pukekohe and Pedersen, who drives the Caltex Havoline car, setting the second fastest time at the second round at Christchurch.
However with tyre problems at Pukekohe Park and the first race incident at Powerbuilt International Raceway both drivers are looking for a better run at Invercargill this weekend.
Fogg currently lies sixth overall in the championship with 235 points, Pedersen 12th overall with 148. Fortunately, the way the points system is structured there are still plenty of points up for grabs - with consistent placings at the first two rounds seeing Holden Commodore drivers Kayne Scott (leading with 355 points) and defending series champion Andy Booth (second with 344) at the front of the pack at the moment.
With Stone Brothers Racing's Caltex-backed driver Russell Ingall winning Australia's V8 Supercar Championship last year the local Caltex Racing team has plenty of impetus to continue fighting for the New Zealand crown.
The team will also benefit from a higher profile off the track over the summer with a second 'shadow' car (a road-going Ford BA Falcon V8 sign-written in the team's colours) joining the fleet this weekend for promotional purposes.
The Invercargill round of the Parker ENZED NZ V8s Championship is always one of the best supported and with Southland being a real Ford stronghold there will be plenty of local support for the two Caltex Racing cars this weekend.
Paul Pedersen had a strong run at Invercargill last season and Angus Fogg says that he enjoys the track and is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel on his Caltex StarMart car.
As is now standard format for the Parker ENZED V8s the field is split into two groups for the official qualifying sessions late on Saturday morning. Race one, ten laps in length, is scheduled for early Saturday afternoon with two more 18 lap races on Sunday.
A special feature this weekend will be the appearance of the Actionflite Red Bull Pitts Special stunt plane which will perform for the crowd during Sunday's lunch interval. The Pitts Special is one of the leading aerobatic planes in the world and the highly experienced Actionflite team will provide a memorable experience for the Teretonga crowd with their tumbling and looping in the sky around the venue.
A new website dedicated to the Parker ENZED NZV8s was launched at the beginning of the season - www.nzv8s.co.nz. More information on the event and the championship is available on the site.