High fives for James Cole
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s James Cole enjoyed a strong Knockhill weekend with a hat-trick of joint-best finishes in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, complementing what was an encouraging outing in Norfolk a fortnight prior.
At Snetterton, Cole’s weekend followed an upward curve as he battled back from a disappointing 26th in qualifying on Saturday to finish with what was his best result yet in the BTCC – fifth come race three on the way to outscoring his team-mates; Jason Plato and Josh Price. The final driver in Subaru’s quartet, Ashley Sutton, however, notched two victories in Norfolk leaving him top of the BMR pile.
With the outfit’s Levorg once again looking competitive in the hands of each of BMR’s four stablemates, Cole was looking for more of the same at Knockhill – a circuit which is well suited not only the Levorg’s chassis, but its rear-wheel drive platform.
Duly, from the off in Scotland, the Stockport racer looked competitive. Plato had made the absolute most out of a drying track, crossing the line to take pole at the death but Cole had passed the timing line moments before – doing enough to secure a creditable sixth spot.
In race one, Cole made it three Levorgs in the top five as he got the better of an eye catching battle with the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota of Tom Ingram. The pair ran side-by-side across the line on lap nine, but Cole would have to wait until three tours later before completing the pass on his way to fifth spot.
It was scored another high five finish in the second encounter of the day. The former UK Formula Ford champion continued his recent upturn in form, and the results are matching that promise. In the final bout at Knockhill, Cole lead team-mate Plato home to make it a hat-trick of fifths – by far his best weekend in the championship yet.
“I’m over the moon – it was the best weekend I’ve had in the BTCC yet,” said Cole. “I seem to have a bit of a thing for finishing fifth at the moment, that was the fourth in a row. I’m really chuffed for the team and my confidence is growing round-by-round.
“Quali was the best it’s been for me as well, and it just goes to show that if you manage to qualify in the top ten, you’ve got that chance of staying out of trouble and getting some really good, consistent points finishes.
“Race three was a highlight. Being able to race right up there toe-to-toe with the Ash (Sutton) and Jason (Plato) then playing the team game with Ash for his championship challenge – letting him by on the final turn. In my head it was fourth spot but I’ll let him have that!
“Overall, I’m really happy and we’ll see what happens when we head to Rockingham in a couple of weeks. I’m hoping to keep this little streak going.”