FOGG GIVES CALTEX RACING TEAM SOMETHING TO CHEER ABOUT AT PUKEKOHE Multi-talented driver/engineer Angus Fogg gave the Caltex Racing Ford Falcon team something to celebrate at the final round of the 2004/05 Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring...
FOGG GIVES CALTEX RACING TEAM SOMETHING TO CHEER ABOUT AT PUKEKOHE
Multi-talented driver/engineer Angus Fogg gave the Caltex Racing Ford Falcon team something to celebrate at the final round of the 2004/05 Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship at Pukekohe's Pukekohe Park today.
In front of the biggest single day crowd in the history of the Placemakers-backed Australian V8 Supercar event (36,617) Fogg, who qualified fifth fastest, and finished sixth in the first Parker ENZED race on Saturday afternoon, finished fifth in this morning's second Parker ENZED race then second in the all-action 16 lap final.
Though the weekend got off to a bad start for the International Motorsport-run Caltex Racing team, with Fogg's teammate Paul Pedersen the innocent victim of a multi-car pileup just after the start of the first race, Fogg's performance was a highlight, the former Cambridge, now Auckland-based driver playing a key role in all three Parker ENZED races.
In the first and second races he battled with long-time championship leader Wade Henshaw, and in the longer, 16 lap championship finale he was part of a six-car Ford battle pack with Shane Drake, Dean Perkins, John McIntyre, Mark Pedersen and Andrew Fawcett.
After Henshaw effectively decided the championship in the final by tangling with early leader Andrew Anderson, Drake inherited the lead until he was displaced by McIntyre. Fogg, who started the reverse top ten grid race from sixth place quickly worked his way up to fifth, then fourth.
He then spent several laps locked in combat with Drake before easing away and setting his sights on Perkins. Like Drake Perkins gamely defended but Fogg waited for the right moment, and made a successful move on the start/finish straight.
He then set off after race leader John McIntyre only to see the red flags come out and the race called a lap early after several cars slid off the track at the first Placemakers esse.
Having finished sixth in the first race and fifth in the second, second in the final was good enough to earn Fogg fourth for the round and elevate him from 13th to 11th in the (provisional) final points standings.
Though Pedersen's early demise was an unfortunate start to the weekend Fogg's performance was another real fillip for the Caltex Racing team, coming on the back of the 36-year-old former Mini and front-wheel-drive specialist's podium finish at the penultimate round of the Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Championship at Taupo last month.
Fogg was naturally upbeat about the weekend, particularly the racing he was involved in.
And the plan now?
"Debrief, unpack, access Paul's car then make a plan for the next six months."
Though he says that his goal was to have both Caltex Racing cars in the top six in their first season Fogg says that some of the tough times this season have not been in vain.
"To be fair, " he says, "I didn't factor in how bad a run we would have, and the strength of the competition. The step up from last year has been huge. Knowledge, horsepower, data acquisition, everything has improved across the board but we've kept working away at it and as we've proved all along the Caltex cars have got the speed."
For Paul Pedersen, a man who has won the New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship and finished runner-up for the past two seasons, this weekend was case of what might have been.
Though he was not injured in Saturday's first turn accident the Rotoria man said that the worst thing about the accident was that it was totally unnecessary.
The multi-car pileup just after the start of the first race was not the first one in a Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car race and as he watched the final race today Pedersen implored the organisers of the series to abandon rolling starts in the interests of safety.
"Standing starts are the norm for most classes, why are we lagging behind?" he said. "Rolling starts are just so dangerous. The reason they give (for not having standing starts) is cost (but the people who are complaining are spending that money on accident damage. In my view it is time to move on."
Like Fogg Pedersen wasn't particularly happy with his final championship finishing position (in his case eighth) but he is already thinking about next season.
"We've got a three year deal, I've taken a year off running Porsches in Australia, and this year (the New Zealand winter) is going to be about testing the Caltex cars here and getting them back on the podium next season."
In terms of the Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship itself it was all change in the final race when long-time championship leader Wade Henshaw - who only needed to finish in front of defending champion Andy Booth to take the title - tangled with early race leader Andrew Anderson in the first lap, the pair spinning off the circuit on the back straight.
Both drivers were able to continue but to run salt into the wound Henshaw was called into the pits to serve a drive through penalty.
The effect was that Booth was gifted his second Parker ENZED title in as many years, with Henshaw - who eventually crossed the line in 22nd place - second and John McIntyre third.
<pre> 2004/05 Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship Rnd 7 (Final) Pukekohe Park Raceway Pukekohe New Zealand April 15/16/17 2005
Race 2 1. Booth 12.11.461 2. Scott +1.054 3. M. Pedersen +1.809 4. McIntyre +3.444 5. Fogg* +4.198 6. Henshaw +4.669 7. Manuell +5.535 8. Anderson +5.814 9. Perkins +6.575 10. Drake +7.814 11. Kennett +9.645 12. Thom +10.273 13. Proctor +10.526 14. Brook +12.668 15. Boote +13.871 16. Carlyle +13.989 17. Fawcett +14.339 18. Lambert +15.319 19. Williams +18.235 20. Hardy +20.727
Race 3 1. McIntyre 15.36.858 2. Fogg * +3.029 3. Scott +4.491 4. Perkins +4.967 5. Drake +7.633 6. Booth +7.487 7. Fawcett +8.137 8. M. Pedersen +8.267 9. Proctor +18.260 10. Thom +19.112 11. Boote +22.676 12. Carlyle +23.397 13. Mackenzie +23.491 14. Anderson +24.369 15. Williams +24.642 16. Wallace +31.879 17. Lambert +34.312 18. Henderson +36.642 19. Hardy +39.147 20. McMillan +39.655
Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship Final Points (Provisional)
Pos Driver Hometown Car Points 1. Andy Booth Auckland Holden Commodore 1183 2. Wade Henshaw Christchurch Holden Commodore 1161 3. John McIntyre Auckland Ford Falcon 1097 4. Kayne Scott Hamilton Holden Commodore 1024 5. Paul Manuell Auckland Holden Commodore 849 6. Shane Drake Auckland Ford Falcon 777 7. Mark Pedersen Auckland Ford Falcon 759 8. Paul Pedersen* Rotorua Ford Falcon 643 9. Dean Perkins Pukekohe Ford Falcon 643 10. Michael Thom Auckland Holden Commodore 595 11. Andrew Anderson Auckland Holden Commodore 591 12. Angus Fogg* Auckland Ford Falcon 570 13. Clark Proctor Auckland Ford Falcon 535 14. Craig Boote Nelson Ford Falcon 450 15. Michael Wallace Dunedin Holden Commodore 414 16. Andrew Fawcet Wellington Ford Falcon 379 17 Kevin Williams Auckland Holden Commodore 357 17 Nick Ross Cambridge Holden Commodore 357 19. Brady Kennett Palmerston North Ford Falcon 350 20. Jared Carlyle Mt Maunganui Ford Falcon 335 21. Adam Brook Christchurch Ford Falcon 318 22. Haydn Mackenzie Auckland Ford Falcon 311 23. Dale Lambert Auckland Ford Falcon 289 24. Daynom Templeman Auckland Holden Commodore 208 25. Charlie O'Brien Australia Ford Falcon 179 26. Grant Shivas Wellington Holden Commodore 172 27. Peter Roberts Taupo Holden Commodore 165 28. Cam Hardy Hamilton Holden Commodore 156 29. Dean McMillan Napier Holden Commodore 151 30. Wayne Huxford Wellington Ford Falcon 146 31. David Parsons Auckland Ford Falcon 123 32. Darryn Henderson Wellington Holden Commodore 96 33. Mike Pero Christchurch Holden Commodore 94 34. Joe Faram Gisbornre Ford Falcon 74 35. Miles Worsley Feilding Ford Falcon 71 36. Julia Huzziff New Plymouth Holden Commodore 54 37. Martin Hicks Napier Ford Falcon 45 38. Cameron McLean Australia Ford Falcon 29 39. Mark Wootton Auckland Holden Commodore 28 40. Phil Stewart Wellington Holden Commodore 13 41. Brendon Sole Auckland Holden Commodore 9
* Caltex Racing Ford Falcon