Jack Goff believes he was ‘fighting a losing battle’ to keep the Subaru of Ash Sutton behind him, and keep up with eventual race winner James Cole, in the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Rockingham.
Goff qualified on the front row of the grid for the first race at the sun-drenched circuit, with the Honda driver holding on to the position for much of the 16-lap race.
However, on the final lap Goff eventually succumbed to the Subaru of new points leader Ash Sutton, leaving the 26-year-old to claim his fourth podium of the season.
Goff was not too disappointed to lose out to Sutton, believing that the loss of the position was inevitable and focussing on the fact that he was the leading independent driver in the race.
“We still got a podium and an independent win,” said Goff to TouringCars.Net. “In the back of my mind I knew it was important to get with Tom [Ingram] having his bad luck.
“Yes, I’m disappointed, but I thought it would happen earlier on in the race, as [the pace of] the rear-wheel drive cars against us around here [means] that we’re going to be in trouble. To still get a podium wasn’t too bad.”
Goff praised the race-long performance of the Subaru Levorg cars in the race, which claimed their third 1-2 finish of the season.
“It’s annoying that it happened on the last lap, but I knew that when he got close to me we had no real answer to the Subaru. It’s got so much torque off the corner along with the fact it’s got rear-wheel drive grip, means it’s very tricky to defend against. Even compared to the BMW the torque of the Subaru is where their big advantage is.
“In the second half of the race I think I was more of a road block, so I don’t think we really had the upper hand in many places compared to the Subaru.”
Goff starts race two with both 57 kg of success ballast and the less favourable hard tyre, meaning that he is cautious about predicting another podium finish.
“It’s very tricky as the Subaru is very quick at the minute. It’s ticking all of the boxes – it’s got the grip at the end of the race and it’s got very good torque off the corners, so we are fighting a little bit of a losing battle but we’ll definitely give it our all in the next one.
“We’ve got the ballast and the hard tyre, so I’m sure it will be exciting. The good news is that we’re all on the hard tyre at the front apart from Josh Cook.”