FOGG SCORES SECOND ROUND WIN FOR CALTEX RACING SQUAD Caltex Racing Star Mart driver Angus Fogg scored his second overall win of the season at the penultimate round of the 2005/06 Parker ENZED NZ V8s Championship at Taupo's new Taupo...
FOGG SCORES SECOND ROUND WIN FOR CALTEX RACING SQUAD
Caltex Racing Star Mart driver Angus Fogg scored his second overall win of the season at the penultimate round of the 2005/06 Parker ENZED NZ V8s Championship at Taupo's new Taupo Motorsport Centre today.
In front of a capacity crowd estimated at over 15,000, Fogg sealed the round win with a dynamic final race win after a dynamic through-the-field drive.
With second place in the first 18 lap race of the weekend on Sunday morning, and a eighth in Saturday's 10 lap opener, the weekend belonged to Fogg and the Caltex Star Mart car.
As if to underline the fact the Caltex Star Mart man also set a new benchmark lap time for the Parker ENZED V8s at the new extended (now 3.6km) Taupo track - 1.40.776.
Fogg's first round win this season came at the Timaru round in January. There, as at Invercargill's Teretonga Park the weekend before, he put the Caltex Star Mart Ford Falcon on pole and won the first race.
He has now been the fastest qualifier at three of the six rounds and won three of the 18 races.
Teammate Paul Pedersen was also one of the front-runners in the Caltex Havoline car this weekend - despite losing second place and ten points in Saturday's race after clashing with top Holden Commodore driver Kayne Scott and being DQed.
In Sunday's first 18 lap race Pedersen made amends by working his way from 31st position at the start to third at the line, while in the final 18 lapper which Fogg won he again finished third, having worked his way up from 11th place at the start.
In terms of the overall championship Fogg is now a definite title prospect heading into next month's grand final at the V8 Supercar meeting at Pukekohe's Pukekohe Park, with new points leader John McIntyre (973 points) just 12 points ahead of former championship leader Kayne Scott (961) and only 27 points ahead of Caltex Racing man Fogg (946).
Pedersen is also in a strong position heading into the final, and had he retained his second place in the first race the overall win could well have been his. As it is he remains sixth in the overall points standings, just 15 minutes behind fifth placed fellow Ford Falcon driver (but no relation) Mark Pedersen.
The first major motor racing meeting at the new Taupo Motorsport Centre was greeted with enthusiasm by all parties, with the only major issue the swirling dust if a car got off-line.
The dust and debris dragged onto the track exacerbated the 'green' nature of the new track surface, as Pedersen found out on Saturday.
Of the three races Pedersen rated Sunday's first one as his favourite, though not just because he made up 28 places in the 18 laps.
"To be honest," he said, "there wasn't any great plan to end up that far up the field. I got a huge reprimand from the team boss for my DQ on Saturday which I had to take on the chin and my main goal was just to bring the car home without damaging it so we would be in a good position for the final race. To be fair I was able to take advantage of the carnage on the first lap, where I think I made up eight places, but after that it was just a mater of getting on with it and keeping my nose clean."
That paved the way for third place - behind teammate Fogg and fellow Ford driver Clark Proctor - in the final, a race that as it turned out Pedersen was lucky to finish.
'Yes, " he said, "we had what turned out to be a gearbox leak towards the end of the race and the oil was being blown out onto the rear tyres which made it a bit difficult getting traction coming out of the turns. Kayne (Scott) came back at me real hard in those last laps and he was really strong on the last one but fortunately I was able to keep him behind in that one."
The battle for the 2005/06 Parker ENZED NZ V8s Championship now heads north again for grand final at the Placemakers Australian V8 Supercar meeting at Pukekohe Park Raceway over the April 22/23 weekend.