Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th April 2000

Qualifying Times
How the cars performed in qualifying
Race Results
Results directly from the track


Race Timetable
Find out when the cars are on the track
Trackside Weather
Updated Daily by Yahoo!
The NZ 2.0 litre Touring Car Photo Gallery
Selected pics from the meeting
Take a Spin Around the Pukekohe Circuit
On board for a lap round the track
Contact Us by Email
We enjoy hearing from you!


Qualifying - Fogg Sets the Pace
by Tony Bunyan 

In a reversal of fortune Angus Fogg claimed pole position from defending New Zealand Touring Car Champion Jason Richards at the Pukekohe Park Raceway.

Recent resurfacing of the Pukekohe circuit over the mountain and through the sweeper have smoothed out the bumpiest parts of the track, making what is already New Zealand's fastest track even faster.

This played into the hands of those cars with raw power and disadvantaged the BMWs who had previously been able to use handling to even out horsepower advantages.

Fogg was confident about his weekend, commenting that the car was performing the best it had all season. To prove it, Fogg only ran inch first part of the 20 minute session.

Not since the early days of the Toyota Coronas had a time in the 1min 05 seconds been posted at Pukekohe.

This left Richards to respond and although the talented International Motorsport pilot drove the wheels off the BNT BMW 320i, he languished half a second off Fogg's pace.

Less than 0.5 seconds separated the second and third rows on the grid, making the midfield as competitive as ever.

Barrie Thomlinson Contemplates where he can find a few more Horsepower and a Sprinkling of Luck!

Ross Heffernan announced that this meeting would be his last at a national level. "While its quite possible that you will see me back for endurance races like the LK Drivesafe 500, I won't be contesting another national championship. Want to buy a competitive cars with heaps of spares?" quipped the Toyota Corona driver.



Fogg Makes It a Hat Trick!!
by Tony Bunyan 

Angus Fogg has finally fulfilled a season long ambition. To win a race in the New Zealand Touring Car Championship. Better than that he showed the Pukekohe crowd that it wasn't a fluke by winning all three races! In the process he kept his championship hopes alive and gave new hope to others in the Championship that Lyall Williamson's BMW International Motorsport Team can be beaten comprehensively!!.

Angus Fogg Convincingly Wins his First Touring Car Championship Race!!

Fogg had arrived in Auckland brimming with confidence that he had the package to beat the all conquering BMW International Motorsport team. He had fought all season on a fraction of the budget to provide real competition for the BMWs of current Touring Car Champion Jason Richards and Kevin Bell. Ironically it was friend Geoff Short, at Manfield two meetings previously, who had topped the podium first with Fogg left to ponder the"what ifs".

With a new set up, a new sponsor in Koken Tools and a track recently resealed to reduce the bumpiness of the mountain and sweeper, all played in Fogg's favour giving him renewed confidence he could secure a win. Little did he know that his tally would be three scalps!!

Angus Fogg and Crew Happy with their First Championship Win

Contrary to the weather forecast, Saturday's race was held in hot clear weather. Fogg lead from the line, with Richards in hot pursuit. Team boss Geoff Short who has nominated to complete the season in the Ford Telstar he has campaigned in both the NZ Touring Car Championship and Bathurst, was in hot pursuit.

Pukekohe has been BMWs Arcilles heel and the recent modifications to the track have emphasized their lack of outright horsepower. Richards was relegated to third as Short advance to second place on lap three.

Confusion struck the race when track officials brought out a pit board indicating that two cars had jumped the start and would be required to make a 10 second penalty pitstop.

Barrie Thomlinson had fought his way out of the pack to chase the three leaders. In car number 2 he couldn't see the board properly and mistakenly thought the board (which showed a 27) was meant for him. It wasn't!! Rhys McKay pitted, but the other offender Kevin Bell continued to circulate.

In the end Fogg crossed the line well ahead of Short and Richards, with Ted Jarvis leading the 1600 cc charge.

Unlike Saturday, Sunday's weather deteriorated and the rain, heavy at times dictated wet weather tyres.

Eager to wrap the N.Z. Touring Car Championship in the penultimate round, Richards was determined to score maximum points, making an excellent start to easily lead Fogg through the sweeper. But try as he might, Richards couldn't hold off the Nissan's horsepower advantage and by lap two Fogg had swapped places, Geoff Short once again pressuring Richards.

Worse was to come for Richards on lap 3 when Jodie Vincent's Nissan Sentra SSS blew an engine, spilling oil all over the track at the entrance to the Esses. Richards lost traction, the steering assembly impacting heavily on the ripple strip. A rubber bush in the steering joint was crushed, making the car difficult to steer to the right!!

This promoted Rhys McKay into third position, with Barrie Thomlinson hot on his heels. By lap eight Richards had rejoined the race and circulated his crippled car into 10th position.

The race was Angus Fogg's, the damp weather unable to dampen the spirits of either the driver or his team.

The last race of the meeting, a ten lap race on Sunday afternoon was Richards last chance to break Fogg's stranglehold on the meeting. Having cannibalised a BMW road car for the rubber steering bush damaged in the previous race, the car had been repaired in time for the last race.

The weather had been soaking wet all day and the cars waiting in rain on the dummy grid before exiting to the track. As in the first race of the day, Richards made a flier of a start, with Fogg climbing all over his exhaust pipe.

Fogg had his best chance all season to make the meeting a hat trick (three wins in a row). His set up and horsepower all suited to the super fast Pukekohe track. Once more Fogg was able to overhaul Richards both cars making a break from the rest of the pack.

Rhys McKay became a casualty of lap five and Geoff Short in the Ford Telstar joined Fogg and Richards on the podium.

Fogg's maximum points score and Richards lack of points in Race Two combine to give Fogg a mathematical chance of beating Richards for the championship. The last round of the New Zealand Touring Car Championship at Taupo over Easter weekend has shaped up to be a much more important weekend than either Richards or Fogg could have imagined!!



All text and photographs are copyright 1998, 1999 & 2000 TR Bunyan