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Foggy looking for glory at BNT V8 SuperTourers this weekend

16 June, 2014


Photo: Geoff Ridder

Photo: Geoff Ridder

Photo: Geoff Ridder

The Aucklander became the only driver to beat champion Greg Murphy so far this year when he won race two at last month’s TR Group 250 meeting at Pukekohe. The BNT V8 SuperTourers race at Pukekohe’s V8 Supercar meeting over Anzac weekend and driver Angus Fogg is looking for more glory.

‘Foggy’, a fan favourite for his flamboyant driving and quick wit,  is a former champion in the old NZV8 class and frustratingly for him, and his fans, his results over the first two seasons were below what he was expecting.

A crash on the first lap of the new season at Cromwell’s Highlands circuit put him out of the first two meetings of 2014. He repaired his Holden Commodore in his Auckland workshop, rolled up at the March Pukekohe meeting without any testing, and found the car transformed.

“It felt good, it was a different car,” he said. “I can’t really explain why, but we did do a lot of work in the off season which we never got a chance to show at Cromwell.

Photo: Geoff Ridder

Photo: Geoff Ridder

“I have historically gone better at Pukekohe than anywhere else in the SuperTourers for whatever reason, and we just got in the zone and everything was good and we just put our heads down and got on with it.”

After a solid fifth-place finish in race one, he got a good start to race two and did what no one else has been able to do all season.

“I dived inside Murph at the hairpin on the first lap, which I’m sure he wasn’t expecting. Then I basically just drove away. I don’t think his car was magic for that race, to be fair, but mine was awesome.

“I was just driving right on the limit but not really making any mistakes. I was very determined to finally have a decent result in the thing because it has been trying. We hadn’t really got on top of it till that meeting.

“Hopefully now we’ve got a taste and we’ve got a little bit of confidence that we can run up the front and we’ll be away.”

The BNT V8 SuperTourers are appearing at the Supercar meeting for the first time, to Fogg’s delight.

“It’s cool,” he said. “We all used to love going with the old cars [NZV8s]. It’s a whole lot of buzz racing there and it’s great to have the SuperTourers there. We certainly missed being there the last year or two.”

Last year, at separate meetings, Kiwi star Shane Van Gisbergen found that his BNT V8 SuperTourer was only one second slower around the extended Pukekohe circuit than his supercar.

That showed what fast, serious cars the BNT V8 SuperTourers are, Fogg said, although they are a lot less expensive than the Aussie supercars.

“They’re a neat car for New Zealand,” he said. “There’s nobody here really got the budget to run a V8 Supercar at the front, that’s for sure.”

Fogg reckoned the Kiwi cars could go even faster if they used softer tyres, but drivers and teams are very happy with the current Hankook tyres as they are very consistent and keep costs down — even in endurance races, teams do not need to change tyres.

“It’s going to be an awesome meeting,” Fogg said. “All the classes are basically going to be V8s – Supercars, my favourite Muscle Cars, the Utes, SuperTourers, NZ V8 Touring Cars, GT1.

“We’re hanging out for Pukekohe, it looks like we’ve got some form so bring it on.”

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.