CALTEX TEAM CONSOLIDATES The past three weeks have been a time of consolidation for the Caltex Racing New Zealand V8 Touring Car team, with the 'second half' of the 2004/05 Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship set to...
CALTEX TEAM CONSOLIDATES
The past three weeks have been a time of consolidation for the Caltex Racing New Zealand V8 Touring Car team, with the 'second half' of the 2004/05 Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship set to begin this weekend at Feilding's Manfeild Autocourse.
With the team's cars based in the South Island since the second round of the 2004/05 Parker ENZED series in late November last year the main priority was maintenance rather than development and the team's engineer/driver Angus Fogg says he has relished the cars' return to his Auckland workshop.
"There's only so much you can do when you are on the road so it certainly has been good being back here. We've been learning all the time about the cars but it's only since I've been back that I've been able to start putting what we've learnt about the cars into practice."
Both Caltex Racing Ford BA Falcons have been stripped and thoroughly checked over and Fogg has been busy fabricating a number of new parts for the two cars.
Former class champion, and '03 & '04 season runner-up Paul Pedersen had one of his best runs so far this season at the most recent round at Invercargill's Teretonga Park, setting the seventh fastest time in qualifying (just behind Fogg who set the sixth fastest time) then carding a 4-3-5 run through the three races.
Fogg's forte has been in qualifying, putting his Caltex Vortex Falcon on the front row of the grid at the Christchurch round of the series in November and on the third row (sixth position) at both Timaru and Invercargill.
Though both cars were for all intents and purposes brand new and untested at the start of the season (Fogg's was based on Peter Butler's older AU Falcon) they were competitive 'out-of-the-box' and it has only been the tight series schedule and fact that the second, third and fourth rounds of the Parker ENZED series have been so far away from the team's workshop, that the team has not been able to do the testing and development work it would have liked over the summer.
Despite that Pedersen's canny race-craft and clock-like consistency has him holding seventh place in the overall series points standings within striking distance both of fifth placed John McIntyre and sixth placed Shane Drake.
Early season pace-setter Wade Henshaw continues to lead the points standings from fellow Holden men Andy Booth and the big winner at Teretonga, Kayne Scott.
This weekend's meeting at Feilding's 3.03km Manfeild Autocourse is the first for the Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Cars in the North Island since the opening round of the '04/'05 season at Pukekohe's Pukekohe Park in October last year.
Joining the Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Cars at the Manfeild meeting are the Toyota Racing Series 'wings-and-slicks' single-seaters, the Battery Town Porche GT3 Cup Series cars, Formula Fords, Bridgestone Porsches, and Kumho Tyres Pre 65s.
The Parker ENZED V8s qualify on Saturday afternoon and have three races on Sunday, one 10 lapper in the morning, a second 10 lapper early in the afternoon and a 16 lap top ten reverse grid final at the end of the day.