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Triple Eight see progress as Harrison slams driving standards

Jack Goff and Sam Tordoff retire from the third BTCC race at Donington

The Triple Eight Racing team left Donington Park in content mood after adding a second British Touring Car Championship podium finish to their tally for 2015, despite incidents for both of the team’s drivers in race three affecting their results.

The opening race of the weekend marked the team’s 500th race in the championship, but while there was no headline result to celebrate the landmark occasion, fourth- and seventh-place finishes for Andrew Jordan and Jack Goff marked useful points towards their championship totals.

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Race two brought a near-repeat of those results as Jordan once again fell a place shy of a podium while team-mate Goff finished less than two seconds behind him in eighth, with their MGs handling wear on the soft tyre well for the second race weekend in succession.

But the team were left with mixed emotions after the final race of the weekend, with second place for Jordan contrasted by a retirement for Goff.

Jostling for position with the West Surrey Racing BMW of Sam Tordoff the end of the Starkeys straight, a tap from Adam Morgan’s Mercedes as the field bunched sent the pair into the barriers on the exit of the final corner.

And the team were still aggrieved after Jordan’s second place, with contact early in the race from Matt Neal marking a potential turning point as he passed Jordan, with the pair crossing the line in first and second.

Neal kept his win after a stewards’ enquiry, with an appeal from MG set to be heard at Thruxton.

Speaking after the race, Jordan felt that Neal’s move had been an overzealous one, but was nevertheless pleased with his haul from the weekend.

“It was a bit of a cheeky move,” said the 2013 champion, in relation to Neal’s overtake. “I wouldn’t mind if there was a gap and he nibbled his way down, but it was contact in the rear bumper.

“It was a cracking touring car race, there were cars everywhere and you thought something was going to go wrong, but it didn’t really, it just happened around me, rather than involving me too much.

“With regards to the results, two fourths and a second is really good and we’ve made big progress with the car, which is even more pleasing than the results.

“We’re now going to Thruxton, which is probably my favourite circuit and I’m feeling positive. We want to get wins, but how the season is panning out with the penalties and weight, consistency is key this year.”

For Goff – who now sits in sixth place in the championship standings, having shared the lead coming into the weekend – the race three exit was a disappointing way to end his weekend, but he too was able to draw some comfort from the progress that he and his team had made.

“The first two races were good and we made progress with the car, to the extent that I went quicker in race one than I did on Saturday,” said the 23 year-old. “Collard hit me twice in race two, and I thought we’d get something out of that if I’m honest, but we didn’t.

“For race three, we all bunched up into the chicane and Sam (Tordoff) and I had a bit of rubbing. I then got a hit from behind, which locked us together and that was it, end of the race.

“I thought I was pretty safe on the inside, and when everyone bunched up I thought it was getting a bit too tight, but I was a total passenger in that accident and I ended up in the gravel. It’s not a good way to end a weekend, but sometimes it happens.

“We improved the car today stability-wise, which will help us no end at Thruxton. We’ve still got things to work on, but I think we look quite good.”

Managing Director Ian Harrison shared his drivers’ contentment, but slammed driving standards with his pair of MGs on the receiving end of contact throughout the weekend.

“We can take a lot of positives from this weekend even if the results may look average,” he said. “The engineers have worked hard to give the drivers a good set up on the soft tyres, which is a novelty for our team to be honest.

“We need to keep pushing the set-up, especially in qualifying trim.  Overall, there has been good progress on that front.

“On track, some of the driving standards, from drivers representing both ends of the field were, frankly, rubbish. However due to on-going judiciary proceedings, that is all I can say for now on this subject.”

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