Team Pyro's Jack Goff has kept his faint hopes of taking the 2011 AirAsia Renault Clio UK title alive by capping off a sensational Rockingham meeting with his second win of the weekend in Round Fourteen.
The driver's second best times from qualifying set the grid for the televised race, putting Goff on pole, with James Colburn alongside him. James Dixon and Josh Files lined up on row two, ahead of Luke Wright and Aron Smith, who headed into the race just two points behind championship leader Paul Rivett, who started seventeenth after problems in qualifying.
An even start saw the front row starters heading around the first turn side by side, though Goff had the advantage of the inside line for Deene hairpin, meaning he held the lead, while Colburn got stuck out wide, allowing Dixon and a quick-starting Wright through. Behind, another fast starter Jake Packun was challenging for a top five spot, though was spun down the field after contact with Smith at Tarzan, while another to lose out on the opening tour was Files, the Pyro driver retiring soon after.
Goff began to break away at the front, with Dixon a comfortable second, while an early change for third saw Colburn slide past Wright at Deene Hairpin on lap three. Making great early progress was Rivett, the Stancombe Vehicle Engineering driver getting up to eighth by the end of the opening lap.
This left him the middle of a great battle for sixth, between David Dickenson, Adam Bonham, Rivett, newcomer Ant Whorton-Eales and returnee Rob Boston. Clio rookie Whorton-Eales was the man on the move, getting past double champion Rivett at Deene on lap nine, before passing Bonham soon after, with Rivett following the Scuderia Vittoria man through.
At the front, there was no such entertainment, with Goff cruising home for his third win of the season. Championship rivals Dixon and Colburn completed the podium, ahead of Wright and Smith. Series returnee Dickenson held on to take a great sixth place ahead of Whorton-Eales, Rivett, Bonham and Boston.
Darren Wilson took the Masters Cup honours in eleventh, ahead of rival Mark Proctor and newcomer Andy Gorton. Nicolas Hamilton completed the finishers after a race long battle with prize winner Mark Gibbons, who enjoyed a strong drive on his guest appearance in the series, however there was to be late disappointment when he hit the wall at the final corner on the final lap, his Stamcombe car coming to rest 100 metres from the finishing line.
Two exciting Clio races at Rockingham has left the championship battle tantalisingly close as the series heads to its final rounds at Brands Hatch GP in two weeks time. Smith holds the championship lead on 298 points, with Dixon on 295 and Colburn and Rivett on 294, just four points separating the top four drivers. Goff sits on 272, and with 64 points to play for, remains in contention.