Eurotech: ‘This is the start of a great season’
Eurotech Racing made an encouraging start to the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch Indy last weekend, with the maiden pole position of the year going the way of Jeff Smith and a trio of strong points finishes collected by new boy Jack Goff.
A strong pre-season programme was cause for confidence at the Midlands outfit and practice at Brands evidenced that the pace is there in the Honda Civic Type R with Goff third fastest by Free Practice 2’s end and Smith seventh.
With red flags and changeable conditions thrown into the mix for the opening qualifying session of the season, the pressure was on to find a clear run and to set a ‘banker’ time.
Smith was the man that timed it best – combining a tidy lap with a tow from Matt Neal’s Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda to pocket pole.
Goff went well on the way to seventh given the circumstances but both he and the team felt the pace was there to go better still.
In Sunday’s opening round, pole-sitter Smith started well, though lost out to the fast-starting Speedworks Motorsport Toyota of Tom Ingram. With an eye on preserving the ‘Option’ Dunlop rubber, the Eurotech man was caught by the hard-charging pair of Gordon Shedden and Adam Morgan. Smith then held his own in fourth, defending valiantly until a mechanical issue saw him shuffled down the pack and forced into the pit-lane and retirement. Goff, meanwhile, drove an effective race – finishing an encouraging fourth, yielding a good haul of points on his debut.
Contact on race two’s initial start looked to have spun Goff out of the running from what was a strong starting berth. Fortunately, a restart enabled him to go again from fourth on the grid. Suspension damage sustained in that earlier contact, however, saw the Honda shuffled back to 12th by race’s end. A brilliant drive from team-mate Smith saw him climb from the back of the pack to the cusp of the points-paying positions and 16th.
Goff solidified a weekend of positivity on the way to a battling eighth in race three. Smith survived a coming-together with Ash Sutton to work back to finish in 17th.
Eurotech Manager Marvin Humphries said: “What a fantastic promising start to the season, to get the first pole was a massive boost to the team. We are happy that the pace is there, Jack and Jeff have shown they are confident and capable of putting the cars at the sharp end and looking like a formidable combination. This is the start of a great season.”