Jack Goff held on to take his first ever BTCC victory, despite a last lap wobble that put his racelong lead in doubt. Goff, who was on pole by dint of finishing sixth in the second race and being drawn in the reverse grid selection, drove an impressive race and held off Jason Plato’s strong pace throughout the 12-lap encounter.
Goff made about as good a start one can expect from a front-wheel-drive car, with fellow front row starter Sam Tordoff once again looking just a little tardy off the line. Andy Priaulx, meanwhile, made a rocketship start, blasting past both Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff to take 2nd by the apex of the first corner.
However, Plato was on fighting form and re-passed Priaulx at the Esses on the second lap and initially appeared to be more than a match for Goff, who was running the soft tyre. However, as the race wore on, it became clear that Goff had the outright pace for victory, even as his tyres wore out. Jason Plato had to keep an eye on his mirrors, as Priaulx wasn’t falling away.
The final lap of the race saw Jack Goff with a 1.5s lead and all looked serene. However, as Goff entered the long right-hander at Coram, the rear of his car stepped out ever so slightly, pushing his car wide and then very tight into the left-hander at Murrays. Jason Plato, sensing an opportunity, got his VW right up the rear of the MG, but Goff just held on by 0.3s as they crossed the finish line.
Elsewhere, disaster struck Gordon Shedden, who was forced to pit early on with a boost problem. Shedden, who arrived at Snetterton the championship leader, left with just a handful of points, including a bonus point for scoring the fastest lap in race three after he re-emerged from the pit lane.
Behind the top four, Andrew Jordan was feisty in fifth, managing to pass Morgan (who went off at the first corner on lap 4) and Colin Turkington in a very clean pass on lap 6. Mat Jackson, on his return to the series, managed sixth after also passing Colin Turkington, who appeared to have pace problems when running in the pack with maximum ballast. Nonetheless, Turkington finished seventh, adding useful points to a stunning weekend.
Rob Austin, Tom Ingram and Rob Collard completed the top 10. Matt Neal, Aron Smith, Adam Morgan, Dave Newsham and Martin Depper completed the points scoring top 15.