BRILLIANT BUT BITTERSWEET VICTORY FOR JOSH COOK
Josh Cook performed outstandingly to win Round 28 of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, although the BTC Racing man’s challenge to win the overall Drivers’ title has come to an end.
Coming into the season finale needing wins and arguably a mathematical miracle, Cook did everything he could by slicing past team-mate Senna Proctor on the run-up to Druids for the first time before comfortably cruising to his fourth win of the season.
With championship challengers Ash Sutton and Colin Turkington scoring well, however, the stellar success wasn’t enough to keep Cook in overall contention.
“Of course, I’m happy!” said Cook. “We’ve had one goal in mind all season and that’s the Drivers’ Championship. But I did what I could in that race, I needed to win it and of course with Ash [Sutton] scoring points, it takes us out of what was a far-reached contention anyway.
“I’m really pleased for the team, and we got a one-two. I did everything I could do, now I can relax a little bit and enjoy just scoring some more points and seeing how far we can go!
“We opened it with a one-two on the first weekend, and have come to the final to finish the year with it and a front-row lockout in qualifying! I’m over the moon for the team. We’ve worked really hard. There have been unfortunate times though the year, but I think that just shows the pace that we’ve got in the car how well we know it now.”
Realistically, Cook is now focussed on fighting for second in the standings, and this result will have boosted his chances with just two races of the campaign remaining.
Proctor took second ahead of Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Gordon Shedden, while Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing’s Dan Lloyd broke the Honda monopoly by taking fourth from Dan Rowbottom’s Civic Type R.
Shedden’s podium was further backed up by a new lap record, as the Scotsman broke Turkington’s five-year-old benchmark.
Laser Tools Racing’s Sutton and Team BMW’s Turkington were sixth and seventh respectively, further cementing the former’s advantage in the overall standings.
Turkington enjoyed a team celebration as BMW look to have secured a Manufacturers’/Constructors’ title for the sixth successive season, whilst Laser Tools Racing hold an unassailable lead in the Independent Teams’ order.
Aiden Moffat (Laser Tools Racing), Tom Chilton (Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport) and Ollie Jackson (MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square) completed the top ten positions.
Jake Hill and Tom Ingram went bumper-to-bumper throughout the race, coming to minor blows on a number of occasions, but the MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square man held on to 12th from his EXCELR8 Motorsport rival.
Sutton leads Turkington by 33 points, with 44 still on offer, whilst Ingram, Hill and Cook can only now fight for second in the overall table.
Race two takes place at 1430 before the finale commences at 1715, with the full race day being screened live and exclusively on ITV4.
2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Brands Hatch GP
1 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing 17 laps
2 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) BTC Racing +0.639s
3 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +1.522s
4 Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +2.387s
5 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +3.021s
6 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +4.721s
7 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +6.673s
8 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +8.081s
9 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +9.598s
10 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +17.350s
11 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +17.538s
12 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +18.454s
13 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +18.644s
14 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +18.784s
15 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +18.803s
16 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +19.148s
17 Jack GOFF (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +19.981s
18 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +21.685s
19 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +22.147s
20 Sam SMELT (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +22.911s
21 Jack MITCHELL (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +25.044s
22 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +30.495s
23 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +30.797s
24 Rick PARFITT (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +30.975s
25 Andy WILMOT (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +37.693s
26 Jade EDWARDS (GBR) PHSC with BTC Racing +39.312s
27 Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions +1:13.399s
28 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading +5 laps
29 Andy NEATE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +13 laps