Jack Goff looks set to defend his AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup Championship lead after taking double pole position at Rockingham International Super Sportscar circuit for round eleven and twelve this weekend.
The Team Pyro driver has had consistent results throughout the season and the hard charging field will have a difficult time to chase him down despite qualifying times being so close.
21 year-old Goff (High Wycombe) starts ahead of teammate Josh Files (Norwich) and title rival Paul Rivett (Banstead) in third, just 0.062 separated the trio.
The session looked to be troublesome for Jack with his manifoldbraking on his first out lap, but the team were able to fix the problem and the youngster squeezed the best out of his Clio to set competitive times throughout the session.
‘It was a really good session,’ commented Goff. ‘We had a few problems with the car as the manifold cracked on the first set of tires. Lucky we still got some good times out of it and everything seems ok. It’s a very tight grid. We were able to do a some consistent lap times so fingers crossed we will be able to set some fast times tomorrow.’
Having been absent from the front row in qualifying in the past few races, Files lines up behind his Team Pyro teammate, just 0.049secs off the pole man’s pace.
‘It was a bit hit and miss at some times if I’m honest,’ said Files. ‘There was a lot of carnage as we can see from Nic Hamilton’s car, there was also a lot of people getting in the way on purpose I felt. We were able to get some space and get the fast laps in so to get second is a great result, but I was hoping to get first but you can’t have it all.’
‘Last year we were well down the road, this year everyone seems to have caught us up,’ continued Files. ‘Tomorrow’s races are shaping up to be great fun so we just have to wait and see.’
Having won the P1 AquaX Sea-Doo Challenge Championship last weekend, the three-time Clio championship winner Paul Rivett, has set his sights on finishing the year with two extra titles in his trophy cabinet and be the first Englishman to win race titles on both land and see in the same year.
‘It was a good session I thought’, said Rivett. ‘I didn’t quite get the pole, but I’m happy with third place. We set our times at the end of the session when the track was at its best in the middle. The car has been great; the teams doing a great job as usual so watch this space tomorrow. This season’s racing is getting closer and closer, as you can see from the times, so it will be an interesting two races tomorrow that’s for sure!’
As for the Rookie Trophy, it was 20Ten Racing’s Josh Cook (Bath) who took the lead honors. He lines up on the grid seventh for tomorrow morning’s race. He will have a tough battle on his hands to keep current Rookie Cup championship leader Ant Whorton-Eales (Lichfield) sits directly behind him in eighth.
‘It was good’, said a satisfied Cook. ‘I tried a new tactic in the session. It was certainly a close session as just 0.2secs separates me from pole. We will have to see what I can do tomorrow, it’s meant to be mixed weather conditions, hopefully it will be wet, as I always prefer driving in those conditions.’
I was a little bit cautious coming into this weekend at this track as I haven’t actually been here and driven round in one of these cars’, continued Cook. So it was a little bit to learn yesterday. It was still a bit of a test session in today’s qualifying as I was still learning the track, but overall it went really well and I’m pleased.’
Swindon man Simon Belcher lines up in twelfth to lead the ELF Masters Trophy, who is hoping to break into the top ten for tomorrow’s race.
‘We were ninth and tenth quickest yesterday so a top ten qualifying was my aim. In the last few races I have qualified a bit further down the grid in 18th and 19th, so I’m pleased we are getting back up to where we need to be, to be behind people like Stefan Hodgetts is pretty good.’
‘Who knows whether we can get into the top ten tomorrow. There is going to be a lot of action all the way down the grid, there is every chance we can move up the grid, but also the same chance you could move backwards. I don’t think anyone could predict how tomorrow is going to go.’
‘Looking forward to tomorrow, continued Belcher. ‘Hopefully the weather holds out see if we can win any more Masters trophies. I’ve just got to get my head down and do the best I can.’
KX Academy driver Stefan Hodgetts, who is also competing in this weekend’s Britcar 24hr race at nearby Silverstone, lines up eleventh after struggling with the car’s performance.
‘We struggled in that session. We are sitting in eleventh, so we have some work to do tomorrow. We will have a look at the car overnight, try and figure out what’s going on and then try and find out where can find some more speed.’
‘I am at the Britcar this afternoon, I start the race at 3.30pm and I very much enjoy doing that and driving lots of different racecars all in one weekend. It’s just a shame that we weren’t able to stick the car up at the front today, but we will try our best for tomorrow’s two races.’
Elsewhere, the session looked set to avoid any incidents that plagued yesterday’s two free practice sessions, that was until Total Control Racing’s Nic Hamilton lost control of his car, sending him into the barriers with heavy damage to left the side of the car ensuing.
The first AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup race of Northampton’s Rockingham starts tomorrow at 10.40, with the second race at 15.50.
Clio Cup action will feature in the live ITV broadcast, which will air on ITV4 and ITV4 HD from Sunday morning throughout the day and will also be available on www.itv.com.
Qualifying Round 11 Classification
1. Jack GOFF Team Pyro 1:29.904
2. Josh FILES Team Pyro 1:29.953
3. Paul RIVETT PER HIRE/SVE 1:29.966
4. James DIXON Total Control Racing 1:29.969
5. James COLBURN Westbourne Motorsport 1:30.078
6. Adam BONHAM Team Pyro 1:30.125
7. Josh COOK 20Ten Racing 1:30.167
8. Ant WHORTON-EALES Westbourne Motorsport 1:30.222
9. Mike BUSHELL MBR 1:30.258
10. Jake GIDDINGS Finesse Motorsport Ltd 1:30.395
11. Stefan HODGETTS Scuderia Vittoria 1:30.474
12. Simon BELCHER Handy Motorsport with Pyro 1:30.777
13. Nic HAMILTON Total Control Racing 1:30.864
14. Ronnie KLOS Scuderia Vittoria 1:30.892
15. Vic COVEY Scuderia Vittoria 1:30.898
16. William DAVISON Westbourne Motorsport 1:30.910
17. Rob SMITH Total Control Racing 1:30.935
18. Ignas GELZINIS Juta Racing 1:31.061
19. Finlay CROCKER Scuderia Vittoria 1:31.121
20. Darren WILSON 20Ten Racing 1:31.588
21. Tautvydas BARSTYS Juta Racing 1:31.817
Image by Jakob Ebrey Jakob Ebrey Photography
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