Jack Goff produced a brilliant performance to win an action packed race at Donington to remain top of the AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup driversâ€™ championship table.
Race winner Goff said â€śI 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 didnâ€™t have the pace all weekend but I made the best out of a bad situation.â€ť
â€śIt was tough holding off Adam,â€ť continued a delighted Goff, â€śbut I defended the place making sure I kept it tight and not to make any mistakes.â€ť
Team Pyroâ€™s Goff , who started from second, took the lead from pole sitter and round three winner, Paul Rivett, 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 Vittoriaâ€™s car of Luke Wright.
On the restart, a collision between Rivett and Thoroughbred Sports Car Championship racer Josh Files ended Filesâ€™ race due to a broken steering arm on lap five. Rivett was fortunate with minor damage, slotting in behind a charging Adam Bonham and Westbourne Motorsports James Colburn.
â€śIt didnâ€™t go particularly well to be honest,â€ť said Rivett. â€śThere 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 didnâ€™t have the pace that we should have had,â€ť said a disheartened Rivett. 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 said, â€śIt was a good race. We had the pace to win it probably but I couldnâ€™t manage to get past my teammate Jack. Iâ€™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 to make it, but didnâ€™t quite manage it.â€ť
The midfield battle was also action-a-plenty with 20Ten Racingâ€™s Josh Cook 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 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.
â€śWe had a really good start,â€ť said Whorton-Eales â€śbut 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.â€ť
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 Pyroâ€™s Simon Belcher 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