Pedersen Builds on Qualifying Promise at Teretonga Caltex Racing Ford Falcon driver Paul Pedersen built on his strong qualifying performance on Saturday to run with the leaders at the fourth round of the 2004/05 Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 ...
Pedersen Builds on Qualifying Promise at Teretonga
Caltex Racing Ford Falcon driver Paul Pedersen built on his strong qualifying performance on Saturday to run with the leaders at the fourth round of the 2004/05 Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship at Invercargill's Teretonga Park today.
Pedersen, who started the first of the three New Zealand V8 Touring Car championship races from the fourth row of the grid after setting the seventh fastest lap time in qualifying on Saturday finished the first race in fourth place, the second in third and the reverse top ten grid final (which he started from eighth place on the grid) in fifth.
The former series champion and Parker ENZED championship runner-up for the past two seasons said that the result - which has elevated him to seventh overall in the '04/'05 series points standings - was heartening for everyone in the Caltex-backed, International Motorsport team.
"I didn't qualify as well as I wanted to but, look, that that was me and not the car. We haven't quite got the car to where we want it compared to the Holdens but the results today prove that we are close.
"In the first race I started seventh, and look, the car was strong and it was getting quicker and quicker and I'm pretty sure that we would have passed (Paul) Manuell and (Wade) Henshaw, but we just ran out of laps because of the number of times they brought the Safety Car out (twice).
"The second race was good too. I got Manuell off the line and really chased Henshaw and (Kayne) Scott hard. You know, we've got it on the Commodores here from the start/finish straight back to the Elbow at the beginning of it - our power is really good - but the Holdens are still getting out of that corner (the Elbow) a little bit better than we are. It's not much but it is just enough. I'd drop two car lengths then catch it up again round the rest of the circuit."
Pedersen started the third and final (reverse top ten grid) race from the fourth row of the grid and had to tough it out round the outside of the Caltex Loop on the first lap but was able to hold his position through the first hectic lap then work his way forward to eventually finish fifth overall behind fellow Ford Falcon drivers Mark Pedersen, Wayne Huxford and Shane Drake, and the lone Holden Commodore of former series champ Paul Manuell.
"There is always a lot of luck involved in that third (reverse grid) race but my plan, " Pedersen said, " was to just try and get past (Andy) Booth as quickly as I could while at the same time protect my line from Henshaw who was right behind me. He was there all the time and I just had to run a clean race and try not to make any mistakes which I didn't."
Unfortunately, Caltex Racing teammate Angus Fogg had a weekend to forget, despite qualifying strongly to put his Caltex Vortex car on the third row of the grid, just in front of Pedersen.
After the three races the Auckland man, fourth overall and Rookie of The Year in last season's Parker ENZED series, was making no excuses, saying simply that things did not go his way.
"In the first race in the rain I started sixth, got up to fifth, but locked the front brakes going into the first right-hander and slid off the track. I was able to drive through the gravel trap, gather myself up and and finish 15th but in the second race (which Fogg started from 15th position) I ran into the back of Craig Boote when the Safety Car came out and there were no flags out until the start-finish line and I didn't see him until it was too late."
The impact folded in the front of Fogg's car, but because the temperature gauge didn't show any change Fogg continued. However, the impact had damaged (and drained) the radiator and the engine overheated and blew a head gasket.
Between the second and third race Fogg and the members of his crew changed engines and the Caltex Vortex car was ready in time to start the reverse top ten grid final. But pushing hard to make up places Fogg drifted wide exiting the Caltex Loop and slid off the track and into a very frustrated retirement on lap three.
There is now just over a month to the fifth round of the 2004/05 Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship at Feilding's Manfeild Autocourse.
Christchurch driver Wade Henshaw continues to lead the points standings from fellow Holden men Andy Booth and the big winner at Teretonga this weekend, Kayne Scott.
<pre> 2004/05 Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car championship Rnd 4 Teretonga Park Invercargill
Race 1 1. Kayne Scott 14.34.531 2. Wade Henshaw +1.189 3. Paul Manuell +2.009 4. Paul Pedersen * +6.264 5. Shane Drake +3.627 6. Andy Booth +4.457 7. Wayne Huxford +5.404 8. Mark Pedersen +6.264 9. Michael Wallace +7.470 10. Clark Proctor +8.541 11. Craig Boote +9.533 12. Dale Lambert +10.479 13. Michael Thom +11.788 14. Jared Carlyle +13.234 15. Angus Fogg * +14.157 16. Kevin Williams +15.479 17. Nick Ross +17.223 18. Grant Shivas +18.290 19. Cam Hardy +19.596 20. Daynom Templeman +20.345
Race 2 1. Kayne Scott 13.21.473 2. Wade Henshaw +0.744 3. Paul Pedersen * +1.137 4. Andy Booth +4.469 5. Paul Manuell +5.102 6. Shane Drake +5.402 7. Mark Pedersen +5.721 8. Clark Proctor +11.974 9. Dale Lambert +12.142 10. Michael Wallace +12.744 11. John McIntyre +13.613 12. Craig Boote +14.060 13. Nick Ross +17.217 14. Wayne Huxford +18.046 15. Daynom Templeman +18.683 16. Jared Carlyle +19.373 17. Dean Perkins +23.153 18. Grant Shivas +25.614 19. Andrew Anderson +27.559 20. Cam Hardy +27.xxx DNF Angus Fogg *
Race 3 1. Mark Pedersen 21.50.492 2. Wayne Huxford +5.261 3. Shane Drake +5.365 4. Paul Manuell +5.948 5. Paul Pedersen * +6.116 6. Wade Henshaw +7.058 7. Andy Booth +7.827 8. Kayne Scott +7.834 9. Clark Proctor +8.841 10. Nick Ross +9.037 11. Dale Lambert +9.533 12. Michael Wallace +10.059 13. Craig Boote +10.237 14. Daynom Templeman +14.191 15. Andrew Anderson +17.068 16. Michael Thom +18.570 17. Adam Brook +18.603 18. Dean Perkins +19.145 19. Kevin Williams +19.201 20. Haydn Mackenzie +19.591 DNF Angus Fogg *
Points after Rnd 3 of 7 (provisional) 1. Wade Henshaw 792 2. Andy Booth 642 3. Kayne Scott 590 4. Paul Manuell 567 5. John McIntyre 523 6. Shane Drake 517 7. Paul Pedersen * 482 8. Mark Pedersen 471 9. Andrew Anderson 341 10. Michael Thom 321 11. Craig Boote 281 12. Dean Perkins 276 13. Adam Brook 266 14. Michael Wallace 263 15. Nick Ross 249 16. Kevin Williams 203 17. Clark Proctor 201 18. Angus Fogg * 191 19. Charlie O'Brien 179 20. Andrew Fawcett 173
* Caltex Racing Ford Falcon
Next race: Rnd 5 Feb 19-20 Manfeild Autocourse Feilding