April 21. 2007, 11.50am. It doesn’t seem to matter whether he’s working his way through slower traffic or battling through the sharp end of the NZ V8 field, Angus Fogg will find a way to get to the front.
He started off the back of the grid in yesterday’s opening NZ V8 race at Pukekohe and worked his way up to 11th in what effectively was a four-lap event: the rest of the time the field was bottled up behind the Safety Car.
He started this morning’s second heat from 11th and by the end of the 16 laps was looking to find a way around race leader and eventual winner Kayne Scott.
Scott (Fujitsu Holden Commodore) drove a perfectly judged race from pole position, resisting strong pressure from series leader John McIntyre (BP Ultimate Ford Falcon) for most of the distance.
McIntyre nibbled and probed but Scott’s defence was impenetrable. The Ford got closer at times, the Holden stretched its margin at others.
It almost came unstuck for Scott on lap 13 when he seemed to leave his braking for the hairpin a shade late, and the Holden got a little out of shape, allowing McIntyre to get even closer.
It was while McIntyre was engrossed in his challenge for the lead on lap 14 that Fogg saw his chance.
As McIntyre checked out his options on the run to the hairpin braking area, he left a gap on the inside and Fog was into it, late-late braking.
The Caltex Star Mart Falcon wriggled and wagged its tail as Fogg willed it to brake enough for the ultra-tight corner. But he hung on to the car and took the place.
He dug deep again a lap later at the hairpin, going to the outside of Scott, but the Holden driver held him out and went on to win by three-tenths of a second.
Fogg was second, ahead of McIntyre. Andy Booth (Tasman Motorsport Commodore) who had been one of several drivers squabbling over second place for much of the distance, came home fourth.
Andrew Fawcet (Falcon) and Darryn Henderson (Commodore) completed the top six.
Paul Pedersen had driven his Caltex Havoline Falcon across the line fifth, but was slapped with a 10-second penalty for jumping the start. That relegated him to 10th in the results.
Scott has now closed McIntyre’s series lead to 13 points with only the reverse grid race remaining.
Scott and Booth will start from the back row, with Fogg and McIntyre immediately in front of them.
Fogg says his car is strong, both in power and under brakes and he has only one aim – to win the final race of the 2006/2007 NZ V8 season.
Scott and McIntyre will have their eyes firmly on the title as they go into a reverse grid race, an event most drivers see as “a lottery” where anything can happen.