Jack Goff produced a brilliant performance to win an action packed race at Donington to remain top of the AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup drivers’ championship table.
Race winner Goff, ‘I got ahead of Paul after making a rocket start and had a good breakaway on the first few laps until the safety car came out, which got rid of my advantage. I managed to get away again at the restart and paced myself, I knew we didn’t have the pace all weekend but I made the best out of a bad situation.’
‘It was tough holding off Adam,’ continued a delighted Goff, ‘but I defended the place making sure I kept it tight and not to make any mistakes.’
Team Pyro’s Goff (Stokenchurch), who started from second, took the lead from pole sitter and round 3 winner, Paul Rivett (Banstead), into turn one after a good start off the line.
In a frantic first lap that saw several spins and drivers running wide, the safety car made its first and only appearance of the weekend for the recovery of the stricken Scuderia Vittoria’s car of Luke Wright (Shaftesbury).
On the restart a collision between Rivett and Thoroughbred Sports Car Championship racer Josh Files (Norwich) ended Files’ race due to a broken steering arm on lap five. Rivett was fortunate with minor damage, slotting in behind a charging Adam Bonham (Kibworth) and Westbourne Motorsports James Colburn (Worthing).
‘It didn’t go particularly well to be honest,’ said Rivett. ‘There was a lot of damage on the rear of the car and having to fight back from a few places down but apart from that, it was a good race. The car was a little bent after that incident meaning we didn’t have the pace that we should have had,’ said a disheartened Rivett. ‘I got a bit of wheelspin off the line at the start, but in general the PER HIRE car has been great all weekend, the Stancombe boys have been great.’
Focused on making up lost ground, Rivett rapidly closed the gap to 2008 Saxmax champion Colburn putting in a succession of fastest laps, eventually passing him to take third place.
Next in his sights was Bonham, who himself was eyeing up a pass on leader Goff refusing to let him pull away. The 17-year old consistently threatened to pass keeping Goff honest all the way to the chequered flag.
Bonham, ‘It was a good race. We had the pace to win it probably but I couldn’t manage to get past my teammate Jack. I’m a little disappointed over the weekend having not won a race but obviously chuffed to bits with two second places. I knew the whole time that if I overtook Jack, I would be leading the championship, it was big incentive tomake it, but didn’t quite manage it.’
The midfield battle was also action-a-plenty with 20Ten Racing’s Josh Cook (Bath) in 7th, position leading a constantly changing six-car train. It was Cook and Swedish driver Kim Andersson who broke from the pack to hunt down the 17-year old Ant Whorton-Eales (Lichfield) in a battle for the Rookie Cup.
With the top three rookies fighting to the end, it was Whorton-Eales who prevailed to take home the trophy in 6th overall followed by Andersson and Cook respectively, separated by only 0.054 seconds on the line.
‘We had a really good start,’ said Whorton-Eales ‘but unfortunately I dropped into the gravel on the outside of Redgate. Then we had the safety car but once we were racing again I dropped a wheel onto the grass down the back and that was it, the train pulled away.’
With very limited running time for ex-rally driver, Bristol based Adam Gould, who started at the back of the pack, made his way through the frantic field to take home a respectable 13th place.
Placing just ahead of Gould, was ex-jet-ski racer Handy Motorsport with Pyro’s Simon Belcher (Swindon) who claimed the ELF Masters Trophy and the lead in the Masters Cup.
The championship now heads to Thruxton for round three on April 28-29, where Goff will be hoping to extend his championship lead
Round 4 Results:
1. Jack GOFF Team Pyro Laps 16 22:21.837
2. Adam BONHAM Team Pyro +0.215
3. Paul RIVETT PER HIRE/SVE +0.437
4. James COLBURN Westbourne Motorsport +0.855
5. James DIXON Scuderia Vittoria +5.342
6. Ant WHORTON-EALES Westbourne Motorsport +7.082
7. Kim ANDERSSON Team Pyro +9.023
8. Josh COOK 20Ten Racing +9.077
9. Mike BUSHELL Mike Bushell +12.082
10. Vic COVEY Scuderia Vittoria +12.608