Jack Goff was disappointed to have missed out on front row start for the eighth Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of the season at Rockingham, the best Saturday performance of his BTCC career.
The Triple Eight MG driver was in contention for a maiden pole position in qualifying at the Corby venue, but was pipped by Mat Jackson, Aron Smith and Gordon Shedden late in the 30-minute session.
An error it later transpired may have prevented a better result for the Snetterton winner, who was left ruing what could have been despite his best BTCC result of third on a Saturday after Shedden was later penalised.
“I made a bit of a mistake”, Goff told The Checkered Flag. “Sector two before you turn into the chicane, on the radio they called me in just as I went purple which could have put me P3.
“It was just on the exit of the chicane. We should be fine, but I’m more annoyed that Shedden had pipped me to be honest because three thousands is the blink of an eye!”
The MG driver was expected to start from the outside of the grid, but Shedden’s pit lane offence moves him down to seventh and promotes Goff to the opposite, less-grippy side of the circuit.
“It’s good with it being our best qualifying of the year, but at the same time I think that we were in with a shot of maybe even the front row.
“We’re near the front, hopefully away from some of the carnage (touch wood) and we can go and get ourselves a good lap time for the second race as well.
“To start the weekend off well is good. We knew how quick the car was in qualifying, unfortunately I haven’t tested around here. Going into race one we haven’t done a race distance, but if we get off the line well I think we’ll be fine.
“We haven’t really tested here”, Goff added, stating that his switch to MG makes free practice sessions effectively his maiden run in the car at each venue. “With me, the damp set me back because I normally use the first session to get my head around the car.
“I usually get a base line feel for the car, but you have to crack on and deal with the time and, although some other teams may have tested, we’ve got to make us of it.”
With temperatures hovering around 13°C on Saturday, much warmer conditions are expected on race day, Goff adding: “For us, I don’t think it will make a massive difference.
“The soft tyre prefers the hotter weather and I think the BMWs will prefer it to be a little bit warmer as well. We’d want it to be a bit cooler so they don’t come at us quite so quick.”