RICH ENERGY BTC RACING BUILDING ON OULTON PARK POSITIVES
Rich Energy BTC Racing drivers Josh Cook, Jason Plato and Jade Edwards have praised the prowess of the squad’s engineering expertise after a weekend of hard-fought battles during the latest rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park (11/12 June).
Cook maintained his position at the head of the Drivers’ Championship with a podium finish in the final race of the day, while team-mate Plato picked up more points in the same round and Edwards was another rostrum visitor to collect Jack Sears Trophy silverware.
Already been a four-time race winner in 2022, Cook banked an eighth and a ninth-place finish in the opening two contests in Cheshire before a collected drive to claim third in the finale, helping him hold station at the top of the points table.
The 31-year-old Bath racer was delighted with the way the weekend had built to its climax, despite a tough start:
“We had to get through the day, bag as many points as we could and know that it was about focusing on race three. We made that happen and I stuck to my target of earning at least 30 points per race weekend but that is a testament to the way we all worked.”
Plato picked up points for the sixth time this season with 11th in the final encounter:
“I was coming into the weekend with my tail in the air, thinking it’s been a great track for me, I love it and I think the car worked well here. But we’ve got a problem [in terms of power] that we’ve got to try and understand. That made it a tough weekend.
“The team is doing a brilliant job and the chassis is great. I know that the work ethos of everyone here is superb and everyone is pushing to find a way forward.”
Edwards continued her progress in the BTCC and was delighted to have been the top scorer in the Jack Sears Trophy – held for drivers who hadn’t secured a top-three finish at the start of the campaign – over the course of the weekend. That meant she was invited to the rostrum for the final round to collect her first trophy of 2022.
The 32-year-old, who was running among some of the championship’s most prolific names on her way to 18th in race three, said she was pleased her plan had worked out:
“I did an interview at the start of the weekend saying I would have my elbows out but with slightly rounded edges so I could pick through the weekend and go on the attack in race three, and that is exactly what I was able to do.
“To get the call on the pits-to-car radio on my in-lap to tell me I had won the Jack Sears Trophy was amazing. It gave me such a nice feeling because we had worked hard all weekend. To get something like this gives you that extra little boost you need moving on to the next round.”
The next rounds of the Championship are at Croft in North Yorkshire (25/26 June) and Team Principal Danny Buxton says the squad will be hard at work back at its Brackley HQ ahead of the fifth meeting of the season:
“Oulton was a frustrating weekend. We think we got a get-out-of-jail-free card with Josh in race three and by Jason battling his way into the top ten. It felt like a bit of light relief.
“It was also brilliant for Jade to win the Jack Sears Trophy, so that was a major positive to take away: she was running right among some of the championship’s star performers, and was holding her own in that company.
“The frustrations have brought the team back down to earth a bit after the successes we have had in previous rounds. Hopefully that will help us to refocus ahead of the next meeting. We have got to maximise what we can do.
“Oulton Park has tested the engineering team to its limits. We have got some direction now and there is still work to do back at base. We will take the positives from the weekend though and continue to look forward.”
Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place at Croft Circuit near Darlington in North Yorkshire in little over a week’s time where the squad will be aiming to build on the pair of podiums it secured there last year.