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Stokenchurch title winner whisked off to Barcelona
JACK Goff is only now coming back down to earth after a whirlwind few days that saw him being jetted off to Barcelona just hours after clinching his first national car championship.
The 21-year-old wrapped up the Clio Cup in the final race of the season at Brands Hatch on Sunday and, as a prize, was flown to Barcelona to test drive the Renault Sport around the world-famous Catalunya circuit.
The 4am flight on Monday morning curtailed any immediate celebrations, but Goff has made up for that now although he admits the highlight of his driving career is still sinking in.
He said: “It’s what we’ve been working for [in the Clio Cup] for the past three years and what I’ve been working towards my whole career.
“This tops everything.”
Goff wrapped up the title by doing exactly what was needed to keep rival Paul Rivett at bay over the final two races.
He had seen his championship lead cut from 19 points to just three at Silverstone in the previous round, meaning the two drivers arrived in Kent knowing it was a straight shoot-out for the title.
However, Rivett crashed out of qualifying on Saturday and could only limp home 12 in the race proper.
Goff nursed his car home in eighth place to extend his overall lead to 15 points with just one race to go.
He said: “I was actually quite relaxed. If you’re in the lead you’re in the driving seat so he was probably more nervous than me.
“But it wasn’t all over. If he won the race I’d have had to finish in the top five so it was just a matter of making sure I didn’t make any mistakes.”
Starting fourth on the grid to Rivett’s 11th, the dice were loaded in his favour but Goff was not taking any chances.
Although he moved up to second place at one stage the arrival of the safety car bunched up the field and from then on Goff concentrated only on keeping Rivett at arm’s length.
He said: “I kept one in the mirror and one eye on the track.
“I don’t even know where I finished in that race, I just kept an eye on him the whole time and know that he finished two places behind me.
“When I crossed the line it was a lot of pressure off my shoulders. I don’t think it sunk in, I still don’t think it has.”
Incredibly, it might not have happened for Goff, who finished ninth and fifth in his first two seasons on the grid.
He was bed-ridden with a throat infection at the start of last week.
He said: “I didn’t get out of bed for two-and-a-half days. Luckily I caught it just in time, but I’d have been there whatever happened.”
On the back of his greatest triumph, Goff, who works for his uncle’s business Mr Signs in Wycombe, hopes to make the step up to British Touring Cars next season.
To do it though, he will need a massive cash injection. Last season’s budget was £120,000 but he’ll need upwards of £400,000 next year.
He said: “I won’t be doing Clios again. There are other options on the table, but at the moment all our focus in British Touring Cars.”
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