News Detail

Tuesday, 30 August, 2016

Goff shows character on frustrating Rockingham weekend

Jack Goff endured arguably the most frustrating weekend of his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship career to date at Rockingham Motor Speedway last weekend [27th-28th August], with the Team IHG Rewards Club driver left with a solitary points finish after the driving standards of others – and the weather – conspired against him.

Qualifying took place in arguably the worst conditions the championship has seen for five seasons, with torrential rain, strong winds and poor visibility the order of the session. As if the elements weren't enough to contend with, an engine misfire for all three West Surrey Racing BMW 125i M-Sport machines ensured Goff, along with stablemates Sam Tordoff and Rob Collard, would start at the rear of the field in 26th, his best time of 1:40.613 some four seconds adrift of pole despite showing consistent pace throughout the morning's practice sessions.

As if the issues in qualifying weren't character-building enough for the team, the horrendous weather conditions in Northamptonshire also heavily damaged the hospitality awning with team members inside. Luckily nobody was injured, and with help from other teams everyone at Jack Goff Racing was able to safely dismantle and salvage what they could of the awning, whilst also receiving offers from rival competitors to assist with hospitality guests the following day.

Jakob Ebrey PhotographyJakob Ebrey PhotographyJakob Ebrey Photography

The pace of Goff and the BMW was demonstrated clearly in the first of three ITV4-televised races on Sunday, with Goff storming through the field to claim 12th despite his lowly starting position and success ballast on board.

Unfortunately, that proved to be the highlight of the weekend for Team IHG Rewards Club when, in truth, there should have been far more points on the board by Sunday evening. After an initial clash dropped Goff down the order, Mark Howard spun the BRDC Superstar around on the exit of Tarzan hairpin in the latter stages of the contest, forcing Goff into retirement.

The same driver was also at fault for Goff's early exit from the reverse grid race, ploughing into the BMW coming into Yentwood on the opening lap and forcing a safety car. Howard later apologised to Jack and the team and accepted responsibility for his error.

Rising above the frustrations, Goff was consoled by maintaining Team IHG Rewards Club's sixth position in the HiQ Teams Championship as a result of his points in the first outing, ensuring the team remains the strongest single-car outfit in the field. For Goff, chances of claiming the Drivers title have all but faded, but with both of his WSR team-mates still strongly in contention for honours the focus now switches to the team game. WSR also retained their healthy advantage in the Manufacturers standings over defending champions Honda.

Jakob Ebrey PhotographyJakob Ebrey PhotographyJakob Ebrey Photography
Jack Goff said: “Despite a pretty shocking qualifying, I was confident in the speed of the BMW and myself today. Coming from 25th to 12th in race one was exactly what I needed and I thought a top-five finish would be on the cards in race two with the hard tyres, which could have meant a second-row start on the reverse-grid. But instead I’ve been involved in three incidents; none of which were my fault. In race two someone pushed Josh Cook into the side of me and that spun me round, and then Mark Howard took me out for good – as he did in race three. Sometimes it’s just not your day.”

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “It’s been an incredibly disappointing day for Jack and Team IHG® Rewards Club. After the issues in qualifying, he did a very good job to move up from 25th to 12th in the first race and I’m sure he could have gone quite a lot higher in the other two races. Unfortunately he’s been a victim of bad driving from one or two others in the back half of the grid today and it’s always the same names that cause problems for others; something needs to be done about them.”