PODIUM FOR PEDERSEN IN V8 SUPERCAR DEBUT Young kiwi driver Ant Pedersen made a huge impression in his V8 Supercar debut at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide last weekend. While many drivers struggle to get to grips with the...
PODIUM FOR PEDERSEN IN V8 SUPERCAR DEBUT
Young kiwi driver Ant Pedersen made a huge impression in his V8 Supercar debut at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide last weekend.
While many drivers struggle to get to grips with the unique characteristics of the powerful V8 Supercars Pedersen, whose previous racing has been in MINI Challenge and the Porsche GT3 Cup in New Zealand, not only adapted but shone. The 21-year-old ended the weekend on the podium, third overall behind two experienced series regulars Steve Owen and James Moffat.
Pedersen received a last minute opportunity to drive a MW Motorsport Ford Falcon in the opening round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Development Series around the daunting 3.22 kilometre Adelaide circuit. The Rotorua driver made the most of it racing to a 6th place in the opening race of the round and then a 4th in the second contest around the streets of the South Australian city. Pedersen quickly adapted to the unique Falcon V8 Supercar, setting times that immediately had him to the fore in practice. He went on to qualify 5th in the strong field and then produced two excellent race results.
Pedersen's result is even more impressive when it is considered that it is widely acknowledged that V8 Supercars are a very different machine to most other race cars and that the performance came on the unforgiving concrete lined Adelaide street circuit. His most recent racing experiences have been at the wheel of a Porsche GT3, a precision racing machine and a very different car to the V8.
After such a great performance Pedersen is obviously keen for more but he has no sponsorship support to gain a regular drive in the remainder of the series.
The decision to run at Adelaide was only made the week before the event, leaving Ant little time to get to grips with a new car and new circuit. The student
arrived in Adelaide with the attitude of keeping it simple. "I had the idea that if they can go fast I can go fast." However on arrival the MW Motorsport team stressed the importance of "keeping the Falcon off the walls and that quickly changed my mentality. The other guys were hustling their cars while I kept it clean and tried to do a good, solid job in front of team owners who could one day become my employer," laughed Ant.
Pedersen found the essence of the Adelaide track was Turn 1 and Turn 8. "The rest are relatively simple corners - just stop, turn and power out." Turn 1 is a fast chicane while Turn 8 is a very fast curve that has claimed its share of victims over the years. "My data was good everywhere. It was only Turn 1 and Turn 8 that made the difference between me and the two guys in front."
"The V8 is totally different. It's a bit industrial. It is not easy. The whole way I was thinking about how to get more time. It all came pretty quickly but there is a lot more to come. It was fun. The cars move around and there is a lot of rubbing and pushing. You can see why people relate to the cars so well. It is a cool place - there were 280,000 people there," said Ant as he looked back on a weekend that he will no doubt remember for a very long time.
The next round of the Fujitsu Series is at Queensland Raceway at Ipswich near Brisbane at the end of April. After such an impressive debut with little testing prior to the opening round it would be a tragedy if Pedersen was not able to find the support to continue and build on this initial success.
-source: Ant Pedersen