Jack Goff anticipates qualifying lap times will drop beneath last season’s benchmark at Rockingham this afternoon.
Practice pace-setter Tom Ingram was able to clock a quickest time of 1:23.284 seconds around the 1.94 mile circuit; a mere tenth of a second adrift of James Cole’s pole position time of 2017.
That lap time came despite having a full quota of 75 kilograms of success ballast on board as the championship leader.
Goff’s WIX Racing with Eurotech-run Honda Civic Type R ended the opening session in 13th, half a second adrift of Ingram.
Speaking to TouringCars.net after first practice, the Snetterton race-winner clarified that his morning running had been focused towards race setup, with some disappointing results.
“This morning we tried some race setup stuff, it didn’t quite work as we’d expected it to,” explained Goff.
“Rockingham is quite a different circuit to Snetterton, it’s anti-clockwise and so on.
“We’re now going back to where we normally run to see if that solves our issues and then for second practice the focus is more on qualifying setup.”
“We know we’ve got last season’s setup and data to use, but then in motorsport everything moves on. In theory we know we’ve improved our car since this time last year, but we are carrying 35 more kilograms.”
The BRDC Superstar expects the pole time this afternoon to drop around four tenths to a 1:22.700 or similar, but highlighted the constant process of improvement as key with a number of circuits seeing faster qualifying times in 2018.
“I think it’ll be a 1:22.7 or somewhere around there. It’s been the same everywhere really, it was like it at Brands Hatch and Snetterton. Nobody sits still, everyone is always improving and we’re all chasing something.
“Everyone has pushed their cars forward. We’re learning more about the larger tyre now, last season was our first with it. It’s a learning process, and we never stop trying new things with the car.”