TEAM HARD TOPS THE TIMES
The 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship has resumed at Knockhill following the annual mid-season break, and it was Team HARD that proved to be the surprise package in the opening free practice session.
In a largely damp session it was title contender Josh Cook leading the way for much of the 40 minutes of running, as the teams and drivers got to grips with the Goodyear wet tyres for the first time in a number of months.
With conditions improving throughout, however, it was the Kent-based Team HARD that blinked first, bolting on slick tyres for the closing moments.
As a gaggle of cars blasted past the chequered flag it was Aron Taylor-Smith (Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing) leading the way from stablemate Bobby Thompson (Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero), whilst Michael Crees (CarStore Power Maxed Racing) also performed well to take third.
Rich Energy BTC Racing’s Cook was relegated to fourth but remained the fastest of the wet tyre runners, ahead of local man Rory Butcher (Toyota GAZOO Racing UK) and Jake Hill in his ROKiT MB Motorsport BMW 3 Series.
“Obviously, the Goodyear tyre test at Snetterton was nice to break things up a little bit, and I’ve been doing some historic stuff, so I’ve been busy in-car but it’s good to be back in my British Touring Car!” said Cook.
“We know our car’s really good in the wet and I’m comfortable in the wet; we did a pre-season test here and got a good baseline where to work from so although we’ve had a four-week break with the tyre test in the middle, the team has still been absolutely flat out trying to develop the car and find more to extract from everything we’ve got and hopefully that’ll pay off in the second half of the year.
“Anything can happen. We still need to rock up every weekend, try our best to put it on the front row in qualifying and win as many races as we can!
“I think the weather’s going to play a big part in the weekend and making sure we put a lap in when it counts in qualifying is going to be crucial. It’s going to be difficult to overtake around here, it’s going to be so close. And we’ve just got to keep our head down. Make sure we do the best we can with our car and make sure I do the best job I can do from a driving perspective.”
Scotsman Gordon Shedden (Halfords Racing with Cataclean) was seventh on his home patch, whilst Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport’s George Gamble was wedged between the NAPA Racing UK pairing of Dan Cammish and Ash Sutton.
The BTCC is back on track at 1215 for the final free practice before qualifying commences at 1530, which will be streamed live via www.itv.com/btcc.
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Knockhill
1. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing 53.088s
2. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +0.443s
3. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1:407s
4. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +2:305s
5. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +2.451s
6. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +2.664s
7. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +2.733s
8. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +2.832s
9. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +2.877s
10. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +2.879s
11. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +2.884s
12. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +2.886s
13. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +2.916s
14. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +2.999s
15. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +3.015s
16. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +3.066s
17. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +3.088s
18. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +3.094s
19. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +3.286s
20. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +3.356s
21. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +3.446s
22. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +3.455s
23. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +3.494s
24. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +3.549s
25. Jack BUTEL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +3.635s
26. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +3.836s
27. Rick PARFITT (GBR) Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing +4.232s
28. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +4.267s
29. Will POWELL (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +5.272s