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THRUXTON RECAP: ROUND ONE

COOK TRIUMPHS IN CURTAIN-RAISER AS CONTENDERS CLASH

As the next rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship get ever closer, let’s look back at the events of Thruxton, and relive the action from the trio of races that kicked off the 2021 campaign.

The preliminary contest saw BTC Racing’s Josh Cook claim the honours, as the likes of Ash Sutton, Colin Turkington and Gordon Shedden all hit trouble.

Racing got off to an enthralling start – as you’d expect in the BTCC – and Cook initially seemed to lose out as his Honda Civic Type R bogged down from third on the grid.

Pole-sitter Sutton held the lead down into the Complex for the first time, with Team BMW’s Turkington and Cook’s #66 machine running side-by-side immediately behind. As Sutton braked into the right-hander he was clipped from behind by Turkington’s BMW 330i M Sport, and the reigning champion’s Infiniti Q50 was tipped into a spin.

Cook made the most of an opportune moment as he slipped into the lead, with the rear-wheel drive BMW’s seemingly struggling for grip. Turkington had by now dropped to fourth – behind Cook, Tom Ingram and Jake Hill – whilst Tom Oliphant was also seen spinning to the rear of the field on cold tyres.

The opening lap drama was far from over, however, with the most dramatic moment still to come as Ollie Jackson’s MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Ford Focus wriggled as the cars approached the quickest part of the circuit.

Three-time champion Gordon Shedden was unable to avoid the rear of Jackson’s Ford and the Halfords Racing with Cataclean car was subsequently speared across the track and into the unfortunate Hyundai i30N of Chris Smiley.

Heavy impact with the barrier followed for Shedden and the first safety car period of the new season was deployed.

Cook kept his powder dry following the restart, as did Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com’s Ingram, whilst MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square’s Hill completed the podium despite coming under race-long pressure from Turkington.

Dan Cammish nipped impressively into fifth in his BTC Racing Honda, after making the most of a squabble between Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Rory Butcher and Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing’s Jason Plato.

Butcher – contesting his 100th BTCC race – and Plato – contesting his 600th BTCC race – were almost inseparable throughout the 19-laps of running and eventually had to settle for sixth and seventh respectively.

Daniel Rowbottom continued his eye-catching opening weekend for Halfords Racing with Cataclean by taking eighth, with his final move by Adam Morgan’s Ciceley-run BMW being particularly impressive.

Laser Tools Racing finished line astern with the recovering Sutton taking tenth from team-mates Aiden Moffat and Carl Boardley.

Following a post-race review, Turkington subsequently received a 17-second time penalty for an incident involving Ash Sutton during the opening lap, dropping the Team BMW driver to tenth.

Check out the full result here as well as ITV’s Race in 60 seconds highlights clip below, and of course head back to btcc.net tomorrow for the Round Two recap!

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