Cook catching up
Having made the move back to MG Racing RCIB Insurance in the week leading up to Croft, Josh Cook is eager to chew through the miles at Snetterton this week to reacquaint himself with familiar machinery and familiar surroundings.
“Croft was actually quite a good weekend for us in terms of the way the car felt,” started Cook. “It was obviously a shame about what happened in qualifying otherwise I think we could have been top three.
“Handling was really nice in the wet and in race one, the car was really stable and felt good then race two and three, we were a little bit unlucky but the pace was there.”
It was a case of settling back into the hot-seat of the MG6 at short notice back at Croft, after returning to MG having spent 2016 there alongside then team-mate Ash Sutton.
Last year was an encouraging one for Cook and having led Maximum Motorsport to a string of best-ever results this season, he is now looking to recapture what made the MG6 such a potent platform. The two-day test at Snetterton offers exactly that opportunity, with team and driver running through every variable in a bid to fine-tune setup and maximise performance.
“It felt good straight out of the box but that was going into a race weekend in the unknown for me,” continued Cook. “We ran through a lot of stuff we’d have liked to have done, or would have ordinarily worked through in pre-season so we’ve had to cram an awful lot in to see where we are with the car.
“We’ve made a lot of changes to figure out our range and see what each change does to the car – sort of finding what tools we’ve got in the toolbox on a race weekend.
“The car’s just where we left off really and it feels good. It’s great to be out with MG as a manufacturer but there’s a lot of hard work to be done as there is for any car on the grid – so we’re happy to be testing.
Personal progress is the focus for Cook, given the nature of testing as a difficult form-book to read. With teams and drivers trying every possible combination of tyres, setup and the rest, it’s difficult to judge exactly how representative the time-sheets are.
The Bath racer is running through his programme to ensure he and MG arrive at Snetterton in anger in three weeks’ time with the best possible starting point.
“People are testing a whole host of things from tyres to their own engines so it’s a fairly open event. I don’t look at the times so we’re doing everything based on feel – that’s what’s important to me.
“You just don’t know what everyone else is doing – they’re running different tyres throughout the day and you don’t know where you are until quali comes in a couple of weeks.
“We’re going through the motions of a lot of different setup changes which can be frustrating as I just want to get out there and go as fast as I can on new tyres. It’s all part of it and it needs to be done. All the hard work now will hopefully yield the rewards on the race weekend.”