Despite admitting he was ‘happy’ to have scored a season-best qualifying performance of fourth ahead of the first British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill tomorrow morning, Jack Goff admitted he felt there had been more time on the table that could have seen him score a maiden pole position in the championship.
Goff, who will line up alongside team-mate Sam Tordoff on the second row for the first contest, clocked a fastest lap time of 51.567 seconds around the tight 1.27 mile circuit, just four hundredths of a second adrift of eventual pole-sitter Jason Plato.
Despite the minor setback, Goff will line up as the second lightest car within the top five, behind the ballast-free Subaru Levorg GT of Plato, and stands a strong chance of scoring his first podium finish in the series since the season opener at Brands Hatch in April.
The 25-year old fans favourite also felt a mistake into the final hairpin on his final flying lap also cost him the time deficit he would have needed to claim pole, which would have been his first with the works Team IHG Rewards Club outfit, run in partnership with West Surrey Racing.
“I am happy, but if you look how close it is – that’s four hundredths of a second from pole.” he explained.
“It’s not even half a tenth, and I actually lost nine hundredths in the hairpin on my last lap. I was one and a half tenths up coming into it, and I was only half a tenth up as I came across the line.”
“So I know full well that there was another tenth in the car and if we’d had one more lap, the tyres were just coming into their best so I think we had that tenth in the bag that could have possibly gotten P1.”
He also admitted that traffic around the short, tight circuit proved to be difficult across the thirty-minute session, with another thirty cars alongside the BMW 125i M-Sport of Goff also vying for the best position on track to deliver on the cars performance.
He also believes the red flag hampered his progress on a second and final set of tyres, giving him too small a window to bring them up to temperature within, which is traditionally a greater challenge for the rear-wheel drive cars on the grid due to their drivetrain.
He felt one more lap would have provided him with the perfect temperatures to properly attack for that all important front-row start.
“Traffic was a nightmare. The red flag came out and we had four minutes to go basically and I’d already used one set of tyres – what’s the point? We knew those tyres were past the sell-by date, but we also knew that a new set of tyres with rear-wheel drive, it could take a bit of time to get some heat into them – I may not get a lap time out of them.”
“ So we just had to go out there and push like crazy on the out lap. We got one lap in, but if we’d gotten one more, as I say, the tyres would have been at their peak.”
Regardless of his frustrations, Goff also conceded that he probably stands as good a chance as any at the sharp end of the grid to challenge Jason Plato on his 500th race start for victory.
He was however, cautious about recording a non-finish at this critical stage of the season, with just twelve races left to go in this season’s title push.
“Yeah, I think so. Knowing what we’ve done with soft tyres, we need to maximise this first race, but at the same time not have a DNF.” he commented.
He underlined a podium finish as his target for the opening contest tomorrow, scheduled to get underway at 11:50, and is looking to utilise the untapped potential of the BMW in race trim tomorrow.
“We need to get a podium finish, hopefully it’ll come towards us later in the race. Rear-wheel drive race pace has been very good for us today, we had a good run earlier on so it’s looking strong. The IHG Rewards car has been mega all day, we just need to make sure we capitalise on that tomorrow.”