Video: Angus Fogg started his 2010-11 NZV8 Championship campaign in the LG-ZB Falcon in the best possible way, coming out of the opening round at Pukekohe Park Raceway at the top of the points table, albeit by the slimmest of margins, just one point
LG Motorsport team-mate Wanganui’s William Bamber, on his debut in the New Zealand V8 touring car series, holds 12th position from the 21 competitors in this season’s line-up.
Fogg, from Auckland’s North Shore, made the most of every opportunity to secure points during the weekend’s three races. But things weren’t initially looking so good for ‘Foggy’ after he missed the chance to run in the top ten shootout due to gearbox problems.
“In the 20-minute qualifying session we were comfortably running in the top three or four and were very happy with the speed of the LG-ZB Falcon. But then fourth gear got damaged and we couldn’t get the car out in time for the top ten shootout,” said Fogg.
“So I started race one in tenth, and then finished fifth. In race two, I started fifth and improved to fourth. When they work out reverse grid for race three from the points earning in the first two races, I started in 18th and finished second!”
“The boys kept changing the car through the day and it felt really good. I got a great start in the third race and managed to get through the field, one by one, to keep moving forward. It’s a long race, 22 laps, and I just kept working away at it and wasn’t far away from catching Andy Booth at the front either.
“The team didn’t tell me that I could be close to holding the series lead, but I worked out I’d be close.”
Fogg has a total of 170 points, just one point more than defending NZV8 champ Craig Baird.
“It’s great to start the championship off on the right foot,” added the two-time championship runner-up.
Fogg says he’s been working on his own fitness. “That preparation really pays off in these long reverse grid races. The new brakes worked consistently. They’re not necessarily stopping the car any faster – our lap times aren’t significantly different to last season, but they perform consistently throughout every race and in fact we haven’t changed the brake pads since putting them in for testing two weeks ago, so there’s potential for some cost savings for the whole field which is good.”
Fogg’s team-mate William Bamber is the youngest competitor in the BNT V8s Championship this season. From Wanganui, Bamber is the younger brother of single-seater race star Earl and already a race champion in his own right, having won the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup last season.
Fogg said: “It’s great to see young blokes like Will stepping up and keeping us older guys honest.”
Bamber started the first race in the LG-ZM Falcon in 16th position and managed to get as high as ninth before being stymied by another competitor’s problems and having to take to the grass to avoid a collision. He finished race one 19th, started race two in the same position and then finished race two strongly in 13th. The reverse grid race saw the 16-year-old take on ultra-experienced competitors like Paul Manuell – having been passed by Manuell, Bamber then took the position back with a clean, tidy manoeuvre. He finished the 22-lapper sixth and the round overall in 12th position.