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Holding a 76 point lead in the BNT V8s standings, Birkenhead’s Angus Fogg challenges this weekend’s 10-12 February penultimate round of the championship season at Manfeild with a fully rejuvenated Radio Sport Ford Falcon race car.
Winner of six out of 12 races held this season, Fogg has accumulated 834 points toward the Gold Star title he has so elusively chased since starting out in the series in 2003.
The weekend’s three races of the six remaining on the 2011/2012 season calendar is a chance Fogg can further extend his grasp on the overall trophy, balanced by the need to at least maintain his advantage.
“The championship is crucially important. We want to finish it off this year rather than stumbling at the last block,” says the 44-year-old race car engineer.
“There have been comments that it will be a cake walk, but in reality with six races still to go anything can happen, and probably will. We’re only one race away from being right back at square one as far as the points go.”
Following back-to-back race weekends mid-late January in the South Island, the return to the north for the Auckland based team brings added advantage. Fogg’s past familiarity and success around the 3.03km Manawatu set circuit is something he says will make it easier to race in the company of other cars. The cambered corners make it unique and easier to drive – fast.
“I like the banked turns – and that sets it apart from the flat South Island tracks we have just returned from. So once again that’s another curve in the setup ‘ball’.
“The whole Radio Sport car and team package is working well, even though every time we rebuild the car we find little things and think about things to do differently.
“Because of the leeway in the setup of these cars it’s finding that sweet spot – that’s easy on the tyres and easy to drive.”
The other incentive Fogg is racing for is the opportunity to further lower the lap record time around the 3.03km circuit he set in February 2008 of 1min12.810.
“The weather is a big part of that and also the car being a little more improved. The last couple of years we’ve been there it hasn’t quite been right. So this year I’m looking forward to finding we’re more on to it.”
Following Fogg’s recent return from the South Island he’s had time behind the wheel in his father’s Mini Cooper, competing at the Festival of Motor Racing.
“Any seat time is good: Truck, Mini, V8, whatever.”
Arriving in Feilding for setup on the Friday, the team get one test session late in the afternoon. Followed by a second session early Saturday morning, qualifying takes place in the early afternoon and is split in two, with the first session to decide the running order for the top-ten fastest one-lap shootout. Fastest time starts from the front of the grid for the afternoon 12-lap race beginning at 4:36pm.
Sunday starts a little later, with the second 12-lap V8 race scheduled for 12:28pm and is a full reverse grid. The weekend concludes with a late afternoon 22-lap race that includes a compulsory tyre change pit stop.
Fogg acknowledges his family of sponsors in his quest to win the Gold Star Saloon car title: Radio Sport, Mountshop, Hydraulink Hose & Fittings, Supercharge Batteries, Segedins Auto Spares of Dominion Road, Strapping Systems (NZ) Ltd, Moselle Panel & Paint, Tom Ryan Cartage, PPG, Affordable PartsWorld, HIAB Services, Delo, Brenics Transport Ltd, iSign it, Fromm Packaging Systems, Mason Tool & Engineering, Stainless Welding and Invercargill Oil Shop.
2011/2012 BNT V8s championship points table (top-ten after four of six rounds)
Pos, Car No., Name, Car, Hometown, Total
1, 2, Angus Fogg, Falcon, Auckland, 834
2, 12, Jason Bargwanna, Falcon, Victoria, 758
3, 5, Martin Short, Falcon, Hamilton, 597
4, 26, Tim Edgell, Falcon, Auckland, 583
5, 4, Simon Richards, Falcon, Hamilton, 578
6, 007, Nick Ross, Commodore, Cambridge, 557
7, 11, Simon Evans, Falcon, Auckland, 485
8, 19, Dwayne Carter, Falcon, Auckland, 364
9, 74, Ross Cameron, Commodore, Dunedin, 285
10, 20, Haydn Mackenzie, Falcon, Auckland, 235
2011-2012 Premier race championships calendar:
Round 1: Pukekohe 5-6 November 2011
Round 2: Ruapuna 10-11 December 2011
Round 3: Teretonga 14-15 January 2012
Round 4: Timaru 21-22 January 2012
Round 5: Manfeild 11-12 February 2012
Round 6: Taupo 10-11 March 2012
About the team:
Car owner: Kevin Williams,
Car builder/engineer: Angus Fogg,
Engine builders: Lynn Rogers Automotive,
Engine components: Segedins Auto Spares,
Ford parts: Affordable PartsWorld,
Refinishing: Moselle Panel & Paint,
Livery design: Pixelsaurus Creative,
Race team: Angus Fogg, Kevin Williams, Brent Robb, John Keast, Tracy Smytheman