Honda fastest as Touring Car title chase resumes

Jack Goff leads way at Snetterton as works Hondas struggle.

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Honda driver Jack Goff has struck the first blow as the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) begins the second half of its 2017 season following a seven-week break.

In qualifying for the sixth of the 10 race meetings in the 2017 BTCC at Snetterton in Norfolk, Goff’s Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type-R took pole position with a 1m 55.786sec lap around the 2.99-mile circuit, an average speed of 119.6mph.

It was Goff’s first top start spot and a great boost to his season hopes, the High Wycombe driver starting the weekend 98 points behind championship leader Gordon Shedden in the Halfords Yuasa works Honda Civic. Shedden, carrying the most success ballast, endured a torrid qualifying session, managing only 20th place and at a loss to explain the lack of speed in his Honda.

Team-mate Matt Neal appeared to be suffering more seriously, his fourth-place time removed when his car failed the ride-height test. With the problem fixed he was unable to replicate his pace and finished in 23rd spot – 1.7 seconds behind the leader. However his Dynamics team then succeeded in overturning the penalty on a technicality, restoring the Honda to the second row.

BMW leads title chasers

Best placed of the current points leaders is Colin Turkington – he will start his Team BMW 125i Sport from the outside front row spot after setting a time just 0.46sec behind Goff. Turkington is 12 points behind Shedden and one back on his team-mate Rob Collard, who could only manage ninth.  Ashley Sutton will be looking to make up a 20-point deficit from third on the grid in his Subaru Levorg, while his team-mate Jason Plato brought some cheer to a so far poor season by squeezing in a time good enough for eighth on the 31-car grid late in the session.

The winner of each of Sunday’s 12-lap races will score 20 points, and the first is due off the grid at 11.37am on Sunday – check back to The Car Expert for a full report on Sunday’s action.

Points leader Gordon Shedden has it all to do from 20th on the grid in his Honda. Photo: PSP Images

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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