Goff secures P5 at Thruxton!
The third round of the BTCC took Jack to the fastest track in the UK: Thruxton in Hampshire. He was stacked up against a 31-car strong field and so headed straight for free practice. Both sessions went well and Jack showed great speed, but he was clearly struggling with the balance of his Vauxhall Insignia.
Following adjustment, Jack went into qualifying feeling optimistic. The car was still not performing at 100% however with the rise in track temperature he managed to finish in P11. This was not as high as he had hoped, but he was only 0.2 seconds off of P7!
A huge crowd greeted the team on Sunday morning. More changes had to be made before the race started to improve the general handling of the car; and with the aggressive, high-speed nature of the circuit, they had to ensure the tyres would last until the end.
An average start saw Jack end the first lap in P14, with the BMWs out-dragging him into turn 1. He got his head down from this point onwards and ended up taking the flag in the position he started, P11.
Yet again the two BMWs got past from the start line with their superior grip. This time however the car was performing better and Jack was able to get past the cars of Sam Tordoff and Fabrizio Giovanardi in the first half of the race. He was then able to chase down Adam Morgan and Jason Plato. Jason seemed to be struggling with his car slightly which was holding Jack and Adam up, and Plato held them off to the flag leaving Jack in P9.
The reverse grid draw saw Jack lining up at P2 for the final race of the weekend. Again the fast-starting BMW of Colin Turkington got the jump from the third row to take the lead before the first corner, and Jack was now in P3. He then had a great battle with Giovanardi and Turkington, both previous BTCC champions, until the safety car was called out due to an accident at Church corner.
As the safety car pulled in, the top 4 made a break for it and created a gap to the rest of the pack. This advantage was soon lost as Simon Belcher went hard and fast into and over the barriers; he rolled through them, but importantly was okay. As the lights on the safety car went out for a second time, the top 4 again broke away. Jack made a move on Fabrizio into the complex and the two touched, causing him to run wide and allowing defending champion Andrew Jordan through into P4.
As the flag fell for the final time of the weekend Jack crossed the line in a respectable P6. However Gordon Shedden had overtaken him under a yellow flag; so the positions were rightly reversed and he was promoted to a solid P5.
After the race Jack said “It has been a pretty good weekend; after struggling initially with the car setup, we all worked very hard to fine tune it. This paid off as in race 3 were one of the fastest cars on the track. It’s just a shame we don’t have as much set up data as the likes of MG, Honda and BMW; we are certainly getting there though, which can be seen by our race positions and the general speed of the car.”
We now have a 4 week break before the championship heads up to the picturesque circuit of Oulton Park in Cheshire.