Jack Goff admitted a mistake at the final chicane during qualifying likely cost him pole position for today’s British Touring Car Championship triple-header at Thruxton, instead slotting his Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type-R into third.
After Goff’s team-mate Jeff Smith brought out the red flags with a crash at Greene five minutes before the end of the session, the one-time race winner sat third behind the works Honda duo of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal.
A final effort in the dying moments of the session gave Goff an opportunity to spoil Team Dynamics’ party, but a mistake under braking relieved the pressure on the works outfit.
Regardless of the error, the High Wycombe-based racer is confident Eurotech can match Honda in race pace around the challenging 2.3 mile Hampshire circuit this afternoon.
“I’m happy to be in the mix again,” said Goff.
“I think we genuinely have the speed in the car to beat them. On my last lap, we had five minutes to go in the session, and I just disconnected the brain a little bit and we just had to go for it.
“I was three tenths up into the last chicane on my best, which would have put me a tenth and a half up on the two works Hondas, and then maybe I should have reconnected my brain before I got to the braking zone for the last chicane – I just locked the left-front.
“ It’s so minimal around here when you’re trying to find that last half a tenth, and I just missed the chicane and that was the end of that lap. We definitely have the speed in the car, in race pace as well.”
The 26-year old revealed Eurotech simulated race runs on the hard compound Dunlop tyre during first free practice yesterday, with the results encouraging from a durability perspective.
“We did a race run in FP1, actually longer than a race run as we did about 19 laps and a race is 16 laps around here, and we even started on those tyres again in FP2 and they still did reasonable times, so I think we’ll be alright as our race pace is pretty strong.
“The problem is I’ve got Hondas all around me who’ve all got good race pace, and so has Ingram, but I think we’ll be OK.
“Morgan is also around us, who’s good in the races around here as he’s done really well in the past few years, and we’ve got a Subaru and a BMW not far behind either, so I don’t think it’s going to be easy tomorrow.”
Several of the fastest runners reported that strict enforcement of track limits concerned them enough to leave some time on the table, a sensible approach Goff re-affirmed.
“I didn’t use the sleeping policeman, whereas I guess if you weren’t battling in the top three you may as well just give it some over the kerbs and see what happens.
“Whereas in the back of my mind you only ever get one or two laps with the tyres at their premium, before they drop a few tenths, so I knew I had to be sensible – we had the speed in the car for the top three anyway and I just had to bring it home.”