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Tuesday, 4 April, 2017

Impressive start for Eurotech Racing

Eurotech Racing made a big impact on the opening round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch Indy circuit with the first Pole Position of the year sensationally going to Jeff Smith.

Smith and new team mate Jack Goff running in the two TOCA Swindon powered Honda Civic Type R’s entered round one feeling confident following a successful pre-season testing programme. Goff topped the lap times for much of Free Practice 2, finishing 3rd fastest with Smith 7th fastest in a 32 car field separated by just over a second.

Qualifying was unpredictable and thwart with red flags and ominous looking grey clouds, but Smith managed to put in an incredible 48.36 sec lap despite the tricky conditions, before another red flag and then the rain came down sealing the pole position time to the delighted Smith and the Eurotech team. Goff also qualified well in P7 but frustratingly had his fastest lap blocked, leaving a taste of ‘what could have been’ for a potential Eurotech front row lock out.

Photography by Roy Powell Photography by Roy Powell Photography by Roy Powell

Race day was dry and sunny in front of a near-capacity crowd around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Race 1 pole-sitter Smith got a good start and clean get away tucking in behind Tom Ingram, having to take it steady in the early laps to preserve the previously opted for soft tyres he was overtaken by Gordon Shedden and Adam Morgan leaving him comfortably in P4, despite pressure from Rob Austin behind Smith was holding his own and two thirds of the way through the race when the soft tyres had started to come in Smith had pulled a gap again when disaster struck with a mandatory TOCA issue wheel nut failing, forcing him to pit and retire. Goff who had worked his way up from his P7 start capitalised on Smith’s departure and eventually got the better of Rob Austin after a long battle finishing in P4 bringing home a good result and points haul for at least one side of the garage.

Early controversy and chaos on lap 1 brought about a complete restart for race 2. Goff had been spun from behind and lost places but was able to restart from his P4 position. Unfortunately damage sustained to the rear suspension caused Jack to drop back at the restart but with a valiant effort hung in there and finished 12th. Smith made good progress through the field having to start from the back following his DNF and made it up to a P16 finish just outside of the points.

Photography by Roy Powell Photography by Roy Powell Photography by Roy Powell

Race 3 was a typically rough and tumble end to the day, Goff running the soft tyre and with the damage repaired was able to press forward and battled his way up to a great P8 finish. Smith was also pushing forwards but was turned sideways at Graham Hill bend by Ash Sutton causing him to drop 8 places and had to work his way back up again to finish in P17.

Eurotech Manager Marvin Humphries said ‘We have had to deal with some disappointing factors beyond our control this weekend but what a fantastic promising start to the season, to get the first pole was a massive boost to the team. We are happy that the pace is there, Jack and Jeff have shown they are confident and capable of putting the cars at the sharp end and looking like a formidable combination, this is the start of a great season’.

After round 1 Jack is 8th in the Driver’s Championship. Eurotech are 4th in the Independent Team’s Championship and 7th overall.