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Friday, 13 May, 2016

Jack Goff keeps his cool in Thruxton heatwave to continue strong form

Despite soaring temperatures on race day, Jack Goff was able to keep his cool and continue a strong run of points-scoring finishes as the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship headed south-west to Thruxton in Hampshire for rounds seven, eight and nine.

Goff finished qualifying as the second fastest of the West Surrey Racing-run BMW 125i M-Sport machines, putting his IHG Rewards Club car into 12th, 0.8 seconds off pole-sitter Tom Ingram. In a frantic first contest, which was eventually halted five laps prematurely due to an multi-car incident on the main straight, Goff was able to move up four positions to score a sixth top-eight finish of the season.

This was then doubled up with fifth overall in the second encounter, as a quintet of NGTC cars including team-mates Sam Tordoff and Rob Collard vied for the overall win into the closing laps, however Andrew Jordan emerged victorious for the first time since 2014.

Jakob Ebrey Photography Jakob Ebrey Photography Jakob Ebrey Photography

The second and third races were cut by a twenty-five percent margin following consultations between series organisers TOCA and Dunlop, the official tyre supplier, with the decision taken on the grounds of safety as the extreme heat was adversely affecting the tyres ability to sustain itself for a race distance on the abrasive 2.4 mile circuit. Unfortunately, this ensured Jack was unable to compete for the win as the window between the front-wheel drive cars losing their tyre grip and the BMW retaining its advantage vanished.

After a perfect start in the third and final encounter, Goff looked on the money for a second podium finish of the season, but his charge was curtailed after a clash with defending champion Gordon Shedden heading into the final chicane, which left the latter out of the race and Goff unable to make it any higher than 18th by the chequered flag.

The weekend's results see Jack Goff sit 6th overall in the Drivers’ Championship, with a sixteen point deficit to joint standings leaders Matt Neal and Rob Collard. The series heads next to Oulton Park in Cheshire, and with the circuit typified by long straights, uphill gradients and tight corners, the BMW 125i M-Sport is set to come into its own having been successful at the circuit in recent seasons.

All three races will be screened live on ITV4 and in HD across the Sunday [5th June]. Additionally, qualifying is available via the ITV website on the Saturday.

Photography by Davai Goosey Photography by Ian Grainger Photography by Ian Grainger

Jack commented:

"Race one was hectic! It felt like a race three fight from lights out! I made progress off the start but I could see the guys ahead of me working their tyres very hard, very early on, so I knew it was just a waiting game before the FWD (front wheel drive) tyres started to drop off. Before long, my prediction came true and I managed to capitalise, crossing the line in 8th.

"The cut in laps wasn't something we were expecting. Of course, driver safety is top of the list, but for us, the IHG Rewards Club BMW used its tyres so well, the full race distance just wasn't an issue for us.

"P5 [in race two] is a brilliant result, but I really believe we were on for a podium had we gone the full race distance, I could see the FWDs had started to struggle and it was time for the BMW to come into its own, but only having 12 laps of the race, meant the flag came out just as we were about to pounce!"

"The start went perfectly" Jack commented "I made places straight away and settled into position. I knew a podium was on the cards but I could see the Honda's were on the move. I managed to hold them off for most of the race until contact at the chicane saw me drop down the field. I feel like the incident with Gordon was 50/50 as there's only really one line into the chicane, but that's touring cars - we move onto Oulton (Park) full of confidence and ready to show everyone what the IHG Rewards Club BMW can do around some of the tighter tracks!"

Damian Meaden