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Jack Goff takes dominant BTCC pole position at Brands Hatch

Saturday, September 30 2017

Jack Goff took his third Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship pole position of 2017 at Brands Hatch today (Saturday), with title leader Ashley Sutton set to start tomorrow's opening race on row two, whilst title rival Colin Turkington could only manage 17th place after a troubled session.

Qualifying got underway with light drizzle falling on the circuit, which almost immediately caught out Brett Smith and James Cole, and with the former's Eurotech Honda stranded in the Druids gravel trap, the session was briefly halted.

When the green flag waved, the entire pit lane returned to the track, with one exception; with the effects of his Silverstone shunt still lingering, Rob Collard withdrew his BMW. There were problems for the sister car of title contender Turkington too, and the bonnet of his 1-Series was up in the garage whilst the team mechanics attempted to get him back into the session.

Out on track, Mat Jackson headed Michael Epps in the slippery conditions, but with blue skies looming overhead, the times were set to tumble. Not, however, until the MG of Josh Cook was extricated from the gravel at Clearways, bringing out a second red flag.

Whilst the MG was being recovered, work continued on Turkington's troubled motor, which was refusing to fire up. The championship contender could only look on as the rest of the pit lane returned to a rapidly drying track, but finally, with half of the session still remaining and representative times still to be set, the Ulsterman was given the all-clear by his team.

Within moments, the times began to tumble. Goff was first to demote Jackson, and on his next lap he went even quicker, half a second faster than last year's pole position, also set in a drying session. Tom Ingram then headed the order, but only for moments as the serene Goff found another half second.

Sutton was the first of the two title rivals to move up the order and into second place as Turkington warmed his tyres ready for his first attack. The BMW was unable to lap close to the pace, however, and languished in 17th place, one place higher than team-mate Andrew Jordan, and just behind title outsider Gordon Shedden. Turkington attributed his lowly position to the engine issues, feeling that he needed more laps to dial the car into the session.

Just as Turkington gave up all attempts to improve, Sutton went quickest in the opening sector. The second was promising, but he failed to qualify on the front row, having been demoted by Aiden Moffat in the final moments. Therefore the Scotsman will start alongside Goff on the front row, with Austin joining Sutton behind.

An ecstatic Goff said: "These boys at Eurotech Racing have given me three poles and Jeff (Smith) one - that's more than anybody else on the grid and the Honda Civic Type R was fantastic. We're fully aware of a fast-starting rear-wheel drive Subaru around us but we'll see what we can do. I've got nothing to lose. We've got the Independents' to fight for but to go for the win there I need to go out and try and get the win here."

Vauxhall's Tom Ingram was a strong fifth place, ahead of Ingram, whose title hopes have now been extinguished. Jake Hill qualified an excellent eighth on his home track, followed by Adam Morgan and Jason Plato.

Tomorrow's opening race will take place at 11.37am.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Qualifying
1, Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing, Honda Civic Type R, 1:30.802s
2, Aiden Moffat, Laser Tools Racing, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, +0.357s
3, Ashley Sutton, Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, Subaru Levorg, +0.363s
4, Rob Austin, Handy Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +0.459s
5, Tom Chilton, Power Maxed Racing, Vauxhall Astra, +0.481s
6, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type, +0.487s
7, Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +0.502s
8, Jake Hill, TAG Racing, Volkswagen CC, +0.505s
9, Adam Morgan, Ciceley Motorsport, Mercedes Benz A-Class, +0.530s
10, Jason Plato, Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, Subaru Levorg, +0.543s

Tickets for the BTCC at Brands Hatch on 30 September-1 October are available on the gate for £15 on Saturday and £34 on Sunday with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click  here.