‘FANTASTIC’ END TO SNETTERTON WEEKEND FOR BTC RACING
BTC Racing ended the second event of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship on a high at Snetterton, with a top four finish for Josh Cook and first-ever BTCC point on the board for Jade Edwards, while team-mate Senna Proctor’s first weekend with the Brackley-based outfit got off to a promising start.
The trio of Honda Civic Type Rs ran with Goodyear’s medium tyres for the opening encounter, as both Cook and Proctor gained ground on the opening tour, breaking the top 15 and top 20 respectively.
As the race wore on, the impact of the success ballast that the pair were laden with certainly told and at the chequered flag Cook was in 16th place, taking tenth in the Independents’ Trophy on the final lap, with Proctor 18th.
Edwards slipped back a couple of places initially but took advantage of the errors of rivals during the latter stages, moving into 25th, and sixth in the Jack Sears Trophy class.
Ballast-free for race two, the grid lined up per the finishing order of the earlier contest – so with Cook on row eight, Proctor immediately behind him in 18th place and Edwards starting at the head of row 13.
Determined to break into the overall points after the frustrations of the earlier contest, Cook and Proctor did just that but it was the latter – running with the Soft option Goodyears – who led the BTC charge after getting ahead of his team-mate at the start.
With the mid-pack running nose-to-tail for almost the entire 12-lap race, Proctor and Cook were line astern throughout and the team debutant went on to finish 14th with Cook just behind. A post-race penalty for Proctor, however, put the #18 machine back to 16th, while Cook was elevated one place.
Edwards, who emerged unscathed from a lap one tangle, ran just outside the overall top 20 early on but would take 23rd at the finish.
With Cook and Edwards both running soft tyres for round six, the final race of the day proved to be the absolute highlight of the weekend. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for Proctor who had to pit at the end of lap one due to a puncture sustained after avoiding a skirmish. He eventually finished 26th.
Cook didn’t have an easy race in prospect, but put in an impressive performance throughout the 12 laps. Battling at the tail of the top ten into lap two after a tremendous opening lap, he picked off places lap after lap and by the start of the fifth tour he was into sixth position.
Continuing to press on as he pursued a podium, after closing onto the lead group, Cook passed Stephen Jelley’s BMW to claim fourth, where he stayed to the flag.
Storming through to gain five outright positions on lap one, Edwards too starred and continued to rise through the order to be 16th by lap four. Driving faultlessly, Edwards continued to push and when Aiden Moffat dropped back on the last lap she duly moved into 15th spot.
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent hosts rounds seven, eight and nine of the BTCC season this weekend (26/27 June), with the race day action on ITV3 from 1100-1825.
“We knew race one was going to be hard work with the success ballast in, but we just didn’t make the progress in race two we expected due to a few little problems with the car which we had to iron out,” admitted Cook. “That was the race where we were supposed to do all the damage.
“We had a lot of work to do in race three, the soft tyre gave us a hand with that, but we made good progress with the car as well – really good work by the team as they had an awful lot to do before race three. It’s been a bit about damage limitation this weekend, we need to hit back at Brands.”
“I don’t know what I could have done differently in race three,” reflected Proctor. “I went left to avoid dust and smoke, and I could see a car sideways in there, but we got a puncture. We got back out on the lead lap though and [Tom] Ingram, who was leading the race, was about five seconds behind us on track and that was the same gap at the end, so it shows we were getting good times out of the car. There are some positives to take away from the weekend.”
“It feels good to get my first BTCC point, especially considering we started 23rd – I half wasn’t expecting it,” added Edwards. “I had Jake Hill behind me at the start, I said to him before the race I had no reason to fight with him, so you go at the start, I’ll follow, and it paid off. We made a few places, then I had [Jason] Plato behind me and I thought ‘here we go, this is going to be such a hard race’, but our car had so much pace and on the soft tyres the car suited them amazingly. It just didn’t drop off, I kept the same lap times and managed to score that first championship point.”
“It’s been a mixed weekend for us at Snetterton, to say the least,” said Steve Dudman, BTC Racing Owner and Team Principal. “I’m very pleased with the job Josh and Jade both did in the final race – they performed fantastically well and it’s wonderful to see Jade take her first outright point in the BTCC.
“The team worked incredibly hard to improve the cars across race day, we knew it would be a tough start with the ballast from Thruxton and it was just unfortunate we didn’t make the progress in race two we wanted and expected. Senna was unlucky in the final race, but his pace was impressive and that bodes very well for Brands.”