Goat Racing leave their rivals feeling sheepish
The championship leaders Tanked Up on Speed arrived at Shenington with newly branded overalls. Well, unbranded but with a new title sponsor in the form of raceandclassics.com, which also happens to be an unfinished website. No one really cared. What it means is that they had a name change. Controversially, they weren’t stripped of all their points like Force India were last year after a name change. Again, not really controversial but it provides a few column inches for their title sponsor… whatever it is they do. Anyway, raceandclassics.com were complaining of a lack of top end as is often the case with the top premier drivers when they aren’t in the lead. They did appear to be struggling in qualifying and could only manage sixth overall. G3Pro took pole position ahead of Goat Racing, who were a sort of raceandclassics.com B team comprising Jack Harding and Ian Blake. SoundFP once again showed they are a potential threat by qualifying third in class ahead of the championship leaders and G3Pro Farecla. Team Applewood were next up and ninth overall. Titan Motorsport were a disappointing fifteenth overall. Rotax Means Rotax and SMJ Racing also had poor sessions. G3Pro held the lead for the first six laps before being overtaken by the Goats. These two remained up front through the first round of pit stops, with Goat Racing managing to bleat their way back in front. It was clear that Raceandclassics were struggling for pace and they were unable to match the top two. They had SoundFP right on their tail and looked in danger of finishing off the podium. Further behind this pair, Rotax Means Rotax were holding off G3Pro Farecla and Applewood Racing. SoundFP continued to chase the reigning champs despite not having a fully funded drive. G3Pro Farecla were just ahead of Applewood Racing. Further down the order, SMJ racing and Titan Motorsport continued to struggle and were unable to make much progress. By half distance, and after the mid-race pit window had closed, Goat Racing were comfortably in the lead from G3Pro. Raceandclassics.com were still third but coming under increasing pressure from both SoundFP and the now charging Applewood. Rotax Means Rotax had made up some ground but were still unable to get anywhere near the leading trio. The leading two remained close throughout the second phase of the race. G3Pro had a few stints in the lead, mostly during the pit stops but the Goats were matching them for pace and their pit stops were slick which kept them in front when the stops played out. Further back, Team Applewood were on a charge and starting to threaten both G3Pro Farecla and raceandclassics.com. Over the last stint, they were right with the reigning champs. SpundFP ran third in the closing stages but they were on a late pit strategy. Raceandclassics.com were holding off Team Applewood but the got past on lap 128 as their pace was too much, despite having to pay for their race. Up at the front and the Goats continued to lead and build a sizable cushion over G3Pro. At the finish it was a superb win by the Goats who came home over fourteen seconds clear of G3Pro. Team Applewood took the final step on the podium,some forty seconds behind the eventual winners and five seconds clear of raceandclassics.com who presumably had to explain to their new sponsor why they were so rubbish. G3Pro Farecla scored some useful points in fifth but SoundFP only managed to come home sixth in class and ninth overall. I’m not sure why because I was too busy recovering from being blinded by Jordan Hill’s bright new overalls. It was a disappointing day for Titan Motorsport who will probably have to count this as a drop score. RMR also struggled and came away with not much to show for their hard work and poor SMJ were nowhere. I’m not sure whether or not Goat Racing are in for the remainder of the season or if they will do any sort of driver swaps between them and raceandclassics.com but, if they remain, they are sure to be a title contender and I’ll personally look forward to seeing who comes out on top between them and raceandclassics. Still, with two races down already and only nine to go, there is still a lot to play for.