Cook in control at Thruxton
Josh Cook – the man who has won seven races in his last six visits to Thruxton – has set the pace in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship practice session at the Hampshire circuit.
The Rich Energy BTC Racing Honda has so often proved the potent force around the UK’s fastest track and, with Cook off the back of a Brands Hatch double, the Bath racer has resumed control over the chasing pack this morning.
The word control is arguably a bit strong when you consider Cook’s team-mate Jason Plato is just 0.111s in arrears.
A number of potential title challengers are immediately behind in the shape of two BMWs and two Fords, with Jake Hill (ROKiT MB Motorsport) ahead of Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing UK), Colin Turkington (Team BMW) and Dan Cammish (NAPA Racing UK).
Championship leader Tom Ingram in the EXCELR8 Motorsport Hyundai and Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan are seventh and eighth respectively, whilst Rory Butcher (Toyota GAZOO Racing UK) and Stephen Jelley (Team BMW) rounded out the top ten.
The final Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship free practice session takes place at 1220, before qualifying commences from 1515 via www.itv.com/btcc.
“It’s good to come out of the blocks and have a nice balance, and the car doing what we want,” said Cook. “There’s a few little bits we can change, but I’m happy – it’s nice to pick up where we left off. We’ve had four years with this car and I’m comfortable with it around here. But who knows what’s going to happen with quali, everyone sort of ups their game. We know we’ve got a better race car, we just need to be toward the sharp end this afternoon.
“It’s good that we can quantify [the effect of varying levels of hybrid] within the team. Obviously Jason’s got a bit more hybrid to use, so we can see how much it costs me not having as much allocation. So it’s nice that we’ve got that information, otherwise you can sometimes end up scratching your head and a bit lost. But we’re really happy. Jason did a mega job, he’s not had much experience in this car around here in this car, so to come out of the blocks like that is mega. A great result for the team so far!
“We had a few general tweaks and going through our set-up processes and everything’s going to plan which is nice! But it can all turn bad very quickly so we just need to keep chipping away.”
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Thruxton
1. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing 1:15.462s
2. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.111s
3. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +0.180s
4. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.490s
5. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.691s
6. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.801s
7. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.825s
8. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.844s
9. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +0.976s
10. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +1.033s
11. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +1.117s
12. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +1.123s
13. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +1.162s
14. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +1.211s
15. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.212s
16. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +1.216s
17. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +1.306s
18. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.322s
19. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +1.475s
20. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +1.499s
21. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +2.072s
22. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +2.180s
23. Jack BUTEL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +2.793s
24. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +2.865s
25. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +2.881s
26. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +2.928s
29. Will POWELL (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +3.241s
28. Rick PARFITT (GBR) Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing +3.258s