Jack Goff’s sensational weekend at Snetterton has continued with a victory in the wet Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship opener, but he had to use all of his talent to hang on from reigning champion Ash Sutton.
A cat-and-mouse duel took place throughout the contest after Sutton had sensationally blasted his Subaru Levorg from seventh to second on the opening lap. The WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda of Goff opened up a gap of more than three seconds in the early running but Adrian Flux Subaru Racing star Sutton was soon reeling him.
A series of fastest laps midway through the race eventually left Sutton on Goff’s tail with less than two tours of the Norfolk track to go. Slight contact through Brundle’s was followed by a pulsating scrap over the last four or five miles of action.
A wiggle through the Bomb Hole for Goff let Sutton around the outside on the last lap and both cars exited the final corner almost side-by-side. Goff fought back on the blast to the line and hauled his Honda alongside, and ultimately just ahead, of Sutton’s Subaru as the chequered flag fell – clinching an extroardinary photo finish by just 0.152s.
“I wish it’d been the last lap three laps before!” said Goff. “We knew we had to get a gap at the start with us being front-wheel drive. We did that. The WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R was on rails at the start. About four or five laps from the end, he had eight tenths of-a-lap on us. We had strengths through sector one and he had us in sector three. He didn’t hold back at the end of last season so he was never going to hold back here!
“We were both on the absolute limit and what a great way to end the race that was. I knew he was much quicker in the last sector but he dropped a wheel on the kerb on the outside of the last turn, it was neck-and-neck and it was a combination of grip and speed over the line. I knew we’d have our hands full when I saw Ash was the highest-placed front-wheel drive car!”
“I knew where Jack was weaker, and he had a little moment which left him vulnerable,” responded Ash. “I tried to get him all the way around the outside but I had a few love taps which unsettled me into the last corner. I couldn’t do much about it. It looked comfortably ours then the Honda gets us over the line. It was fantastic. It’s what everyone watches the BTCC for and for us at Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, to come from ninth to second is amazing. It gets us right out of the dog-fight.”
The action was relentless from the moment the lights went out in torrential rain, with BTCC stalwarts Jason Plato and Rob Collard among those forced out of contention in separate incidents. Matt Simpson’s front-running effort also failed to materialise as he ran off-track on the opening lap, as all 31-cars struggled to cope with the conditions.
When things eventually settled down – behind the lead pairing – it was Dan Cammish (Halfords Yuasa Racing), Josh Cook (Power Maxed TAG Racing) and Sam Tordoff (Team GardX Racing with Motorbase) taking relatively lonely third, fourth and fifth places respectively.
Rob Austin enjoyed a great battle with Adam Morgan for much of the race, with the latter making contact with the Alfa at one stage. Morgan’s luck eventually ran out as he fired his Mercedes onto the grass, and he would eventually finish tenth, whilst Austin hung on to sixth.
In-between those two at the finish was Chris Smiley (BTC Norlin Racing), Tom Oliphant (Ciceley Motorsport) and Daniel Lloyd (BTC Norlin Racing).
Three experienced BTCC protagonists put on a great show outside of the top ten as Tom Chilton, Matt Neal and Colin Turkington scrapped throughout – the trio ended up 13th, 14th and 15th respectively.
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 16 – Snetterton
1 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech 12 laps
2 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.152s
3 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +9.659s
4 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +13.619s
5 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +15.023s
6 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +27.772s
7 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +28.082s
8 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +30.690s
9 Dan LLOYD (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +31.116s
10 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +37.164s
11 Brett SMITH (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +37.214s
12 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +41.088s
13 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +41.856s
14 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +43.115s
15 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +43.265s
16 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +44.947
17 James COLE (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +46.141s
18 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Team HARD with Trade Price Cars +50.407s
19 Michael CAINE (GBR) Team HARD with Trade Price Cars +53.040s
20 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +1m04.086s
21 Dan WELCH (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +1m.08.664s
22 Sam SMELT (GBR) AmD with Cobra Exhausts +1m12.613s
23 Ant WHORTON-EALES (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +1m47.039s
24 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1 lap
25 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +3 laps
26 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +8 laps
27 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +10 laps
28 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +10 laps
29 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +10 laps
30 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +12 laps
31 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmD with Cobra Exhausts +12 laps