Following on from Saturdays race one victory, Team Pyro’s Jack Goff put in another dominant lights to flag performance that saw him leave Rockingham with a clean sweep in the AirAsia Clio Cup. With it he also leaves himself 26 points behind the leader Aron Smith and still in with a shout at claiming the top prize.
Goff’s only challenge throughout the duration of the race came off the start from Westbourne Motorsport’s James Colburn, who himself is right in the thick of the title hunt. The pair went side by side down to the first hairpin, but Goff held the inside line, the lead, and proceeded to drive away into the distance finishing almost a full five seconds clear of the rest of the field.
Speaking to BTCC Crazy after the race he said; “It’s never easy, but i was a lot more calm today, getting the win yesterday settled my nerves. I got my head down from the start, counted the laps off one by one and made sure i made no mistakes.”
“It’s definitely not over yet, i’ll keep pushing until the last race of the year. I’m going to go out there and try to win every race there is left and what happens after that happens.”
After fighting for the lead with Goff into the hairpin, Colburn was forced to take the wide line and lost out to both TCR’s James Dixon and Scuderia Vittoria’s Luke Wright, dropping back to fourth place. The experienced Colburn proved his credentials in the title hunt with a mature recovery resulting in an excellent move on Wright to claim third and yet another podium. Despite still looking for his first ever Clio Cup win, Colburn now sits within four points of top spot going into the Brands Hatch finale.
Colburn made moves to catch Dixon to improve beyond third, but the Kent man held on to take a well deserved second to keep his own title aspirations firmly in hand. Going into his home circuit for the final rounds of the year, Dixon will be hoping to wrap things up in front of a local crowd.
“I got a mega start,” he said. “I tried to challenge for the lead but Goff just seemed to have the upper hand today and pulled away quite early on in the race. Halfway through the race I could see Colburn catching which was a little bit worrying but we managed to hold him off and come home in second.”
“To finish second is really good for us as we have gained some good points in the championship battle. Going to Brands Hatch there is going to be quite a lot of pressure there but I think with it being my home circuit, that is certainly going to give me a boost.”
Going into the weekend Stancombe Vehicle Engineerings Paul Rivett lead the standings, but as with Saturday’s race,
terrible luck in qualifying left him with it all to do again in race two.
Despite a poor start, the double Champion piloted his Lumison Blue Square car impressively through the field, with the aim clear; damage limitation. He eventually finished eighth after a fantastic scrap with newcomer Ant Whorton-Eales, to keep himself four points back on the leader, Aron Smith.
“The start was awful,” he said. “After going dead last off the line I managed to make a brilliant comeback and overtake a huge amount of cars going into the hairpin, it must be a record. Unfortunately after making brilliant progress on the first lap, we didn’t climb any higher and I spent the rest of the race fighting with Bonham and Whorton-Eales.”
Whorton-Eales commented; “I made a better start than yesterday. From there I knew that I had to just pick each driver off one-by-one and I’m delighted to have made the moves that I did. I’ve had a brilliant time this weekend, this result is a fantastic end to it.”
Elsewhere in the field, Jake Packun found himself involved in all kinds of trouble, first with Saturday podium finisher Josh Files, and then with now Championship leader Aron Smith .
Going into the first hairpin, Packun ran very wide and into the side of Files in the process. The result for Files was retirement with damaged steering. Packun however went on to find himself involved in a second incident. He first went onto the grass, recovered to the track, then came across in front of Smith. Smith already committed to his line, collected Packun sending the Get On Track Developments driver off the circuit and ultimately into retirement.
Newcomer Rob Boston from Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, and running with JHR Developments, collected his second top ten finish of the weekend with tenth place. This rounded out a pretty successful return to the Championship for the current Mazda MX5 Champion who will be hoping to make the grid again in the future.
Finally any Rockingham report would not be complete without mention of their ‘Dream Drive’ winner Mark Gibbons. Gibbons made an excellent start and for much of the race was in front of TCR’s Nicolas Hamilton. The pair enjoyed a good battle before a mistake from Gibbons showed Hamilton the gap he needed to sweep through and take the position. A sad end to the weekend was in store for Gibbons though as a mistake at the very last corner of the race saw him plough into the unforgiving concrete wall.
The 2011 AirAsia Clio Cup reaches it’s exciting climax in two weeks time on the Brands Hatch GP circuit. With 5 drivers all in with a realistic shout at claiming the prize, there’s sure to be some incredible racing on the cards to end a fantastic season.
Main Photo: Richard Devine
Round 14 results
1. Jack Goff Team Pyro 21m 26.136secs G
2. James Dixon Total Control Racing +4.908s G
3. James Colburn Westbourne Motorsport +5.225s G
4. Luke Wright Scuderia Vittoria +5.968s G
5. Aron Smith Team Pyro +6.845s G
6. David Dickenson Team Pyro +12.457s G
7. Ant Whorton-Eales Scuderia Vittoria +12.953s G
8. Paul Rivett Lumison BlueSquare Data/SVE +13.201s G
9. Adam Bonham Team Pyro +13.688s G
10. Rob Boston JHR Developments +14.064s G
Championship Top 5
1. Aron Smith Team Pyro – 298pts
2. James Dixon TCR – 295pts
3. Paul Rivett – Lumison BlueSquare Data/SVE – 294pts
4. James Colburn – Westbourne Motorsport 294pts
5. Jack Goff – Team Pyro 272pts
Photo: Richard Devine