NZ V8TC: Caltex Racing round four preview

Pedersen Takes Heart From Ford Performance at Timaru Caltex Racing Ford Falcon driver Paul Pedersen says that he takes heart from fellow Ford driver John McIntyre's breakthrough win at the third round of the 2004/2005 Parker ENZED New Zealand...

Pedersen Takes Heart From Ford Performance at Timaru

Caltex Racing Ford Falcon driver Paul Pedersen says that he takes heart from fellow Ford driver John McIntyre's breakthrough win at the third round of the 2004/2005 Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship at Timaru International Motor Raceway.

"Definitely," says the former class champion who last year was the top Ford driver in the Parker ENZED championship. "McIntyre and his team are at the top of their game and you have to take your hat off to them. What you have to remember is that they have been working on that car for the past two seasons. My car was brand new this season and Angus' (Angus Fogg, Paul Pedersen's teammate in the new-look International Motorsport-run Caltex Racing team) was re-built from the ground up, so when all is said and done I think we're doing very well to be where we are.

"We said at the start of this programme that this was year one of three and just to get two brand new cars to Pukekohe for the first round in the time-frame we had was an achievement. To be as competitive as we have been - particularly in qualifying - has been a sign that we are on the right track, we just have to make sure that everyone knows what we are doing and that the fans keep faith."

The two Caltex cars were in the thick of the action in all three races at Timaru with Paul Pedersen carding a fifth, fourth and ninth but Angus Fogg finding himself fighting a rearguard action after being docked 30 seconds in lieu of a drive-through penalty in the first race.

Both cars showed their potential in qualifying with Fogg sixth fastest and Pedersen eighth. And Fogg's time was set with a broken sump base, allowing oil to drip onto the exhaust pipe, meaning he got less time on the track than his teammate.

Fogg also missed out on an 11th place points finish in the first race when he was given a 30 second time penalty for contact with Mark Pedersen early in the safety car-interrupted race.

That put an early end to any thought of a top ten finish in the second race because it meant he had to start it from the rear of the grid. Despite that he got up to 15th place which should have given him a better starting position for the final..............however grid positions for that reverse top ten race were decided on points scored in the first two races!!!!

That meant that instead of starting the 16 lap race from 15th position on the grid Fogg started it from P28. It got worse too. After steaming through to '14th or 15th' he got 'rammed off the track' by a driver he had just passed, and had to start his charge all over again.....

On top of a similar run at the second series round at Ruapuna before Christmas, Fogg could be forgiven for wondering when his luck is going to change. However, the talented Auckland-based driver/engineer reckons luck - good or bad - doesn't come into it.

"Luck," he says "is when preparation and opportunity intersect."

There are three races for the 38-strong Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship cars at Teretonga Park this weekend, all on Sunday. This weekend's meeting enjoys a slightly different format to others on the Mike Pero Mortgages Motorsport Series roster, with a late start (1.00pm) and finish (9.00pm) on Saturday to facilitate the first of two 50 minute twilight endurance races (the second is at Christchurch's Powerbuilt Raceway at Ruapuna Park on Saturday week) for the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Championship.

-cr/fastcompany-

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Series General
Drivers John McIntyre