John McIntyre has clinched the NZ V8 championship in his first season running his own Ford Falcon race team. He won the crown after an exciting final race at Pukekohe today.
April 22, 2007, 8pm. BP Ultimate Ford Falcon driver John McIntyre wrapped up the NZ V8 Championship at Pukekohe this afternoon after a cat and mouse battle with Kayne Scott (Fujitsu Holden Commodore) in the reverse grid final race.
By winning the weekend’s first two races, Scott had closed McIntyre’s lead to 13 points going into the final race.
Scott needed to finish several cars ahead of the Ford to take the title, and that’s where the battle lay.
As the mayhem-filled race raged Scott would work hard to get as many cars as possible between them, and McIntyre would get his car back on to the Commodore’s tail.
That went on for lap after lap as they threaded their way through from the back of the field.
In the closing stages, Scott fought hard to find a way past Paul Pedersen’s Falcon, the Caltex Ford driver making his car as wide and hard to overtake as possible.
Scott eventually got past, and McIntyre overtook the Caltex car when Pedersen ran wide and on to the grass at the top of the hill on the final lap.
Scott crossed the line fifth, McIntyre sixth which was enough to give Johnny Mac the title.
The race had been won by Angus Fogg (Caltex Star Mart Falcon) after a stunning drive through from the back of the field.
He took the lead from Dean Perkins (GT Radials Falcon) in the closing laps.
He went on to win by 0.7 seconds, from Perkins with NZ V8 newcomer Colin Corkery an excellent third in his Holden Commodore.
Paul Manuell was fourth in the Orix Holden.
Fogg had said before the race that his sole aim was to win the final event of the 2006/2007 season. He had done so in fine style.
McIntyre’s championship victory was especially satisfying as he had achieved it with his own team.
McIntyre had launched his own squad during the off-season, and had turned in a stream of top four finishes to amass a good points tally.
His series-winning margin over Scott was nine points (1104 to 1095).
Fogg was third on 1006, followed by David Besnard (917), Clark Proctor (715) and Andy Booth (692).
The final race had seen major drama early on when Cam Hardy’s Commodore caught fire after tangling with another car and hitting the trackside barrier.
Hardy was unhurt but the car was extensively damaged by fire. The race was red-flagged while emergency crews dealt with the fire.
Stop Press: protests may change results
Results of the NZ V8 Championship are in limbo, following the lodging of protests against several cars.
Hearings of the protests are expected to continue long into the evening.
They are understood to revolve around technical regulation infringements, including mounting of the battery and fuel pump in the boot on some cars.
Affected cars are said to include several of the top finishers in the series.