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Australian Ford driver wins opening round of NZV8s

 

Australian V8 Supercar driver David Besnard took two wins in his first three races in the Parker ENZED NZV8s Championship during the opening round at Pukekohe.

Besnard, the veteran of over 60 V8 Supercar races, has joined leading NZV8 Ford team, Hydraulink Racing, and was one of several Ford drivers to exert their dominance in the first three races of the NZV8 season.

Last season's runner-up, Star Mart Ford driver Angus Fogg set the fastest lap time during Saturday's qualifying with fellow Ford contender John McIntyre second fastest in the BP Ultimate-branded car. Besnard qualified in fifth, behind another Australian V8 Supercar driver Luke Youlden in the Powerbuilt Ford and the only Holden driver in the top ten, Paul Manuell, a former NZV8 champion contesting the Orix Holden.

McIntyre took first blood in a tightly-fought first race on Saturday with Besnard snapping at his heels in second place. Pole-setter Fogg spun out of contention to end up twelve.

Twenty nine-year-old Besnard lined up in pole position for Sunday's first race as a result of having set the fastest lap time in Saturday's race.

However within seconds of the race starting, Fogg snatched the lead from Besnard in a finely judged manoeuvre going into the esses on the very first lap. Fogg then held the lead for eight determined laps until Besnard slipped past him in the dipper. McIntyre was within a few metres of the duelling front-running pair for two-thirds of the race only to shoot onto the grass and lose third place to Youlden. McIntyre came home fourth in front of the third Australian in the field, Cameron McLean, making it an all-Ford top five.

Former NZV8 champion Paul Manuell was the best of the Holden drivers in sixth position. "Thankfully my team-mate Andy Booth managed to get into the top ten; few too many Fords otherwise," quipped Manuell.

South Auckland Ford drivers Dean Perkins, Clark Proctor and Mark Pedersen took positions seven through nine, with two-time champion Booth in his newly-backed Tasman Motorsport Holden rounding out the top ten.

New regulations for the 2006-07 season see the NZV8s contest the third race of the weekend with a fully reversed grid, based on points earned in the first two races. As a result of two disappointing races, defending champion Kayne Scott in the Fujitsu Holden started in pole position with series newcomer Shaun Richardson beside him on the front row of the grid. Power Horse Holden driver Andrew Anderson and Hamilton driver Cam Hardy made an all-Holden top four.

Reverse grid races can be somewhat contentious and the first attempt at the first lap was marred by two incidents which bought out the safety car. Shaun Richardson tangled with Simon Richards near the front of the field, while at the very back Nick Ross and John McIntyre disappeared briefly in a cloud of dust. Richard, Ross and McIntyre rejoined in time to make the restart with Scott taking full advantage of a clear track in front of him to lead for 16 of the 20 laps. Behind him, the hard-charging Fords of Besnard, McIntyre and Fogg were quickly improving their placings as was Booth in his Holden.

Starting from 27th position, Besnard says he had a dream run as he climbed to second behind Scott by the eleventh lap. The pair then diced and duelled, twice Besnard's Ford pulling past Scott's Holden on the back straight and twice Scott outbraked Besnard at the hairpin to take the lead again. Besnard finally managed to hold the lead with just two laps to go. Scott had to settle for second place after what had been a very frustrating weekend for the defending champion, largely due to mechanical issues.

Booth was third to contribute to a more favourable result for Holden, with Mark Pedersen and Darryn Henderson rounding out the top five.

Besnard said: "I don't expect it [the reverse grid race] to happen like this all the time! Scott had the third quickest lap time that race so there's not a parity issue. I expect him and the other leading Holdens to come back at us Fords at the next round."

Besnard took the round win with 217 points. Finishing sixth in the reverse grid race left McIntyre second for the weekend with 174 points. He commented that the new compound Dunlop tyres were not wearing during racing, as intended. "However it's more of a challenge to engineer the car to race well - we set our car up well for qualifying while Besnard's car was better suited for racing."

Fogg was third for the weekend with 137 points after a seventh place in the last race. "If the reverse grid race is messy on an open circuit like this, it's going to be pretty exciting on the tighter circuits like Ruapuna!"

The NZV8s next race at the Powerbuilt Raceway outside Christchurch (Ruapuna) over the weekend of 25 and 26 November.

ENDS

Parker ENZED NZV8s Championship - Race 2 of 3 (16 laps)
Finishing position, Driver, Hometown, Car, Points earned
1, David Besnard, Gold Coast, AUS, Ford Falcon BA, 75
2, Angus Fogg, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 67
3, Luke Youlden, Melbourne AUS, Ford Falcon BA, 60
4, John McIntyre, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 54
5, Cameron McLean, Brisbane AUS, Ford Falcon BA, 49
6, Paul Manuell, Pukekohe, Holden Commodore VY, 45
7, Dean Perkins, Pukekohe, Ford Falcon BA, 42
8, Clark Proctor, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 39
9, Mark Pedersen, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 36
10, Andy Booth, Auckland, Holden Commodore VY, 33
11, Paul Pedersen, Rotorua, Ford Falcon BA, 30
12, Haydn Mackenzie, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 28
13, Pete Roberts, Taupo, Ford Falcon BA, 26
14, Darryn Henderson, Wellington, Holden Commodore VY, 24
15, Simon Richards, Hamilton, Ford Falcon BA, 22
16, Andrew Anderson, Auckland, Holden Commodore VY, 20
17, Dale Lambert, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 18
18, Tim Edgell, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 16
19, Kevin Williams, Auckland, Holden Commodore VY, 14
20, Andrew Fawcet, Wellington, Ford Falcon BA, 12
21, Michael Wallace, Dunedin, Holden Commodore VY, 10
22, John Penny, Taupo, Holden Commodore VY, 9
23, Kayne Scott, Hamilton, Holden Commodore VY, 8
24, Cam Hardy, Hamilton, Holden Commodore VY, 7
25, Julia Huzziff, New Plymouth, Holden Commodore VY, 6
26, Shaun Richardson, Te Kauwhata, Holden Commodore VY, 5
DNF, Ian Tulloch, Mataura, Ford Falcon BA
DNF, Nick Ross, Cambridge, Holden Commodore VY
DNS, Ian Spurle, Auckland, Holden Commodore VY


Parker ENZED NZV8s Championship - Race 3 of 3 (20 laps, full reverse grid)
Finishing position, Driver, Hometown, Car, Points earned
1, David Besnard, Gold Coast, AUS, Ford Falcon BA, 75
2, Kayne Scott, Hamilton, Holden Commodore VY, 67
3, Andy Booth, Auckland, Holden Commodore VY, 60
4, Mark Pedersen, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 54
5, Darryn Henderson, Wellington, Holden Commodore VY, 49
6, John McIntyre, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 45
7, Angus Fogg, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 42
8, Clark Proctor, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 39
9, Dean Perkins, Pukekohe, Ford Falcon BA, 36
10, Andrew Anderson, Auckland, Holden Commodore VY, 33
11, Simon Richards, Hamilton, Ford Falcon BA, 30
12, Haydn Mackenzie, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 28
13, Tim Edgell, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 26
14, Michael Wallace, Dunedin, Holden Commodore VY, 24
15, Kevin Williams, Auckland, Holden Commodore VY, 22
16, Julia Huzziff, New Plymouth, Holden Commodore VY, 20
17, Ian Tulloch, Mataura, Ford Falcon BA, 18
18, Luke Youlden, Melbourne AUS, Ford Falcon BA, 16
19, John Penny, Taupo, Holden Commodore VY, 14
20, Cameron McLean, Brisbane AUS, Ford Falcon BA, 12
DNF, Andrew Fawcet, Wellington, Ford Falcon BA
DNF, Cam Hardy, Hamilton, Holden Commodore VY
DNF, Dale Lambert, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA
DNF, Nick Ross, Cambridge, Holden Commodore VY
DNF, Paul Manuell, Pukekohe, Holden Commodore VY
DNF, Paul Pedersen, Rotorua, Ford Falcon BA
DNF, Pete Roberts, Taupo, Ford Falcon BA
DNF, Shaun Richardson, Te Kauwhata, Holden Commodore VY
DNS, Ian Spurle, Auckland, Holden Commodore VY

Parker ENZED NZV8s Championship - Provisional Points after Round 1
Position, Driver, Hometown, Car, Championship points
1, David Besnard, Gold Coast, AUS, Ford Falcon BA, 217
2, John McIntyre, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 174
3, Angus Fogg, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 137
4, Luke Youlden, Melbourne AUS, Ford Falcon BA, 136
5, Mark Pedersen, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 132
6, Dean Perkins, Pukekohe, Ford Falcon BA, 127
7, Clark Proctor, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 123
8, Andy Booth, Auckland, Holden Commodore VY, 101
9, Paul Manuell, Pukekohe, Holden Commodore VY, 99
10, Haydn Mackenzie, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 92
11, Kayne Scott, Hamilton, Holden Commodore VY, 82
12, Darryn Henderson, Wellington, Holden Commodore VY, 79
13, Cameron McLean, Brisbane AUS, Ford Falcon BA, 70
14, Michael Wallace, Dunedin, Holden Commodore VY, 64
15, Tim Edgell, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 62
16, Kevin Williams, Auckland, Holden Commodore VY, 60
17, Pete Roberts, Taupo, Ford Falcon BA, 59
18, Andrew Anderson, Auckland, Holden Commodore VY, 53
19, Simon Richards, Hamilton, Ford Falcon BA, 52
20, Andrew Fawcet, Wellington, Ford Falcon BA, 51
21, Dale Lambert, Auckland, Ford Falcon BA, 44
22, Julia Huzziff, New Plymouth, Holden Commodore VY, 42
23, John Penny, Taupo, Holden Commodore VY, 41
24, Ian Tulloch, Mataura, Ford Falcon BA, 40
25, Paul Pedersen, Rotorua, Ford Falcon BA, 40
26, Cam Hardy, Hamilton, Holden Commodore VY, 21
27, Shaun Richardson, Te Kauwhata, Holden Commodore VY, 17
28=, Ian Spurle, Auckland, Holden Commodore VY, 0
28=, Nick Ross, Cambridge, Holden Commodore VY, 0

2006-07 Parker ENZED NZV8s Championship Calendar
(Part of the Mike Pero Motorsport Series)
Rd 1, 4-5 November 2006, Pukekohe Park Raceway
Rd 2, 25-26 November 2006, Powerbuilt Tools International Raceway at Ruapuna Park
Rd 3, 19-21 January 2007 (A1GP meeting), Taupo Motorsport Park
Rd 4, 17-18 February 2007, Manfeild Autocourse (Feilding)
Rd 5, 3-4 March 2007, Timaru
Rd 6, 10-11 March 2007, Teretonga Park (Invercargill)
Rd 7, 20-22 April 2007 (V8 Supercar International), Pukekohe Park Raceway


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