WIX Racing with Eurotech top of the pile
WIX Racing with Eurotech’s 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship got underway in fine style at Brands Hatch this past weekend, with the outfit leaving Kent atop the Teams’ Championship with a race win in the bag.
The outfit’s Honda Civic Type Rs were potent throughout 2017 and a one-two in the opening Free Practice session of the season, Goff from team-mate Brett Smith, set the tone once again.
That pace was evident throughout the remainder of Saturday’s action, reaching a crescendo with Goff’s scorching qualifying time – enough to seal a third pole on the bounce for the 27-year-old and Eurotech, as well as a Brands Hatch Indy double following Jeff Smith’s pole last year. Smith Jr. set a time good enough for 10th, while Matt Simpson, in the Eurotech-backed Simpson Racing Type R made it a hat-trick of top tens for the stable with eighth spot.
Goff was able to covert his start-line advantage into a maiden race win of 2018, fending off Team BMW’s Colin Turkington in difficult wet conditions. Smith meanwhile, brought his Honda home in 11th.
Changing conditions in race two, however didn’t favour the pair, who had opted for the Dunlop BluResponse wet tyres. The drying track surface favoured those who had gambled on fitting slick rubber prior to lights-out and Goff clung manfully onto 10th, with the maximum allotted 75kgs of success ballast aboard his Type R. Smith rounded in 20th, but it was Simpson in the sister Civic who really impressed. He was one of the drivers to take the risk on dry rubber and fired his Type R to seventh – a best-ever result in the series, and right from the back of the grid to boot following his opening race DNF.
The weather held off for Round 3 and an elbows-out performance from Goff yielded eighth, with Simpson able to swashbuckle his way to another seventh placed finish. Smith, meanwhile, found himself in the midst of the action but was shuffled down the order to 22nd after contact.
“It couldn’t have gone much better than that,” said Goff. “You never really know what to expect when it rains like it did overnight but to come away with a win from Round 1, it’s taken a lot less time than it did last year, so I’m chuffed with that. It’s all thanks to the fantastic guys here at WIX Racing with Eurotech who’ve given me a fantastic car. We’ve shown we’re quick and we want to show it more in races – we’ve done that here. Credit to Colin (Turkington). He’s a fair racer and I like to think I am too. We didn’t give each other much room but just enough!”
Team Principal Jeff Smith said: “What an amazing way to start our 2018 campaign, pole positon and all three cars in the top ten for qualifying, followed by a great win by Jack Goff in the opener. We have clearly given Matt a car he can put up the sharp end, too, and we are looking to continue scoring results like this with all three cars under our banner.’