Eurotech Double Podium Success at Thruxton
Eurotech Racing headed to Thruxton in Hampshire, the fastest circuit in the UK over the weekend for Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. With the team confident following the test day at Thruxton where Jeff Smith topped the lap time sheets, the aim was converting their recent strong pace in to podiums.
Jack Goff laid down the gauntlet in Free Practice 1 setting the P1 lap time early on with Jeff Smith in P11, struggling to find the balance in the car that they had achieved on the test day. Goff cemented his intent in Free Practice 2 finishing P2.
The two Eurotech Type R’s were strong in Qualifying, with Jack finishing P3 and Jeff P6, making it a Honda 1,2,3 with the Factory Team Dynamics Hondas in P1 and P2.
Conditions were dry and sunny for race day. Race 1 saw Jack get a good start off the line from his inside row 2 starting position, keeping comfortably with the two works cars of Neal and Shedden, fending off Tom Ingram for much of the race who nearly made it past when Jack was held up by a back-marker in the closing laps. Jack successfully held on to bring the Type R home in a well-deserved P3, the first podium of the year for Jack and the Eurotech Team, also taking the Independent Teams win. Smith struggled to get his car cleanly off the start line, dropping some places which he spent the race trying to claw back, suffering with understeer he held off pressure from Andrew Jordan and Aiden Moffat with some great defensive driving, bringing the second Eurotech Type R home in a solid P11.
Race 2 was blighted by a huge crash on Lap 1 which brought out a red flag when the MG of Dan Lloyd hit the barrier hard at Church, causing a long delay. A cause for concern over the safety of this barrier had already been raised by a number of drivers, in the drivers briefing on Saturday morning. On the restart the rear wheel drive BMW of Rob Collard out dragged Jack off the line to take 3rd, on the approach to the chicane Jack spectacularly made it three wide with Collard and Shedden, with Jack gaining back P3 and with Shedden losing out, Shedden immediately fought back and recovered the position going in to the Complex. Jack regained P3 again when Matt Neal pulled in to the pitlane with a steering problem, it looked like Jack was going to be on for another podium but Ingram managed to pass him at the chicane and then another red flag ended the race early with Jack finishing in P4. Jeff had again been in the thick of the action eventually finishing in a hard fought P10.
The reverse grid for Race 3 had promoted Jack to a P3 start, with Jeff remaining in the P10 grid slot. Another good start from Jack meant he pulled away from the fighting Rob Austin and Shedden behind him settling in to a comfortable P2 behind Colin Turkington, staying clear of Tom Ingram who was chasing him down for second place until Jack picked up some debris on his tyres and ran wide enabling Ingram to pass, Jack bought it home to make it a second podium finish in P3. Jeff was going well holding P10 with a couple of laps to go, defending from Tom Chiltern when he had a huge moment, Chiltern got the run on him on the outside going into Noble which meant Jeff had to lift slightly more to avoid contact which caused the back end to step out sending the Type R spinning one way then the other across the front of the ensuing pack, thankfully Jeff managing to keep it out of the barrier, rescuing it to finish P27.
A successful points haul for Eurotech sees Jack retaining P6 overall in the Drivers Championship and the Team 3rd in the Independents and 4th overall in the Teams Championship.
Eurotech said ‘It has been a fantastic weekend for us, we knew we had the pace and we were confident the podium was well within reach. Jack and Jeff have been putting in such strong drives and all of our team put in so much effort we feel it is very well-deserved but we won’t stop there this is just the beginning, we will keep building on the momentum and will be pushing for wins now.’