“We’re only four points off the leader, Angus Fogg, so that shows how close this racing is and it’s an excellent way for our team to start the season,” said Edgell, who finished last season’s NZV8 series fourth overall.
The North Shore-based Edgell was particularly pleased to be so competitive at the first event of the seven-round championship as he said he hasn’t done a lot of driving over the winter, particularly compared to the two main competitors, John McIntyre and Craig Baird, who he was racing against at the front of the field.
“For Saturday’s qualifying, the car had good balance and showed good speed,” said Edgell modestly after topping the 21-strong field during the one 20-minute qualifying session with his lap time of 1:01.342.
His flying lap in the top ten shootout was even faster, a time of 1:01.117, but it wasn’t quite fast enough to stop two-time NZV8 champ McIntyre taking pole position for the opening race of the season with Edgell alongside on the front row.
“I put together a nice tidy lap and I was still on the front row for Sunday,” said Edgell.
“First race, and as we came around for the rolling start, I saw the start lights go out earlier than usual and I was on the gas. For a moment I wondered if I’d made a false start, but I made the most of it and got ahead of Johnny Mac into the first sweeper.”
Edgell led the field for three laps, but “...was struggling for drive out of the hairpin and John had the speed, so I gave him room to pass. From then, I was pretty much on a par with John to come home for second with Craig behind me.”
The second 12-lapper proved more challenging. McIntyre made sure he won the start this time while Baird was hot on Edgell’s bumper.
“I had a good go at passing John in the first lap – our guys changed the car between races and it was definitely stronger. Then on lap four, John Hepburn came out of the pit exit just as John, Craig and I were coming past. It was unfortunate what happened – John Hepburn kept to the racing line even though he was going a lot slower than us, so I had to move offline then Craig nipped inside to pass me going onto the back straight.”
From there it was a solid run home into third place for the #26 Chesters Ford.
Race three is always a full reverse grid, so along with McIntyre and Baird, Edgell earned the best points from the first two races and the trio were right at the back of the field, faced with 22 laps of racing.
“Basically I took a conservative approach and ticked on through the field to finish eighth. In these reverse grid races you either go for broke or try and take it easy. Either way you need a bit of luck. It was good to finish eighth – just behind Craig – and with John crashing out, we finished up ahead of him on points for the weekend.”
Edgell also noted that the new brake package made available for the NZV8 class this season worked well for the Edgell Performance Racing team. “The brakes were really good all weekend. With the previous package, you’d have to pump the brake pedal at least four times a lap just to make sure they were functioning by the time you got to the hairpin, the main braking point at Pukekohe. But even in the long race, the new brakes performed right through to the end. They’re not necessarily allowing us to go any faster, but they’re certainly consistent and we’re still using the set of brake pads we fitted for testing, so those have got us through practice and three races and are still going strong.”
Edgell’s performance at Pukekohe’s opening round builds on the level of success he attained last season. He currently holds the lap records for NZV8s at the Taupo circuit and the Hamilton street circuit and last season won his first pole positions and race. With his father, Randell, the engineer for Edgell Performance Racing and his grandfather, Eric Mallard, one of New Zealand motorsport’s highly regarded administrators, Edgell’s motorsport heritage and talent sets him in good stead for a real contender in this year’s NZV8 series.
Edgell contests round two at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway at Ruapuna Park outside Christchurch over the weekend of 26 to 28 November. “We’ll be looking to keep improving as a team, building on this success at Pukekohe.”
Edgell Performance Racing thanks the following sponsors for their support: Chesters Plumbing and Bathroom, BNT, Marley, Hansen Products, Fuchs, Tru-Test Group, North Harbour Ford, Roca, FujiFilm, Wurth NZ and Journey on Roadside Solutions.
Keep up with the latest news from Edgell and his team via the Tim Edgell Racing Facebook page.
For more information, please contact Tim Edgell directly.
Mobile 021 664 634 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photograph - Tim Edgell in the #26 Chesters Ford in action during round one of the 2010-11 BNT V8s Championship. Photo courtesy SportProMedia.com