COOK ON TOP AT CROFT
Josh Cook kicked off the second half of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season by setting the fastest time in the opening free practice session at Croft.
Light drizzle played its part towards the end of the 40-minute run as One Motorsport with Starline’s Cook eventually pipped title contenders Colin Turkington (Team BMW), Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing UK) and Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport).
Sutton led for most of the running, before Turkington very briefly took over at the top, but then Cook produced his best effort while track conditions were arguably at their best.
In truth, the pace was still over a second off the expected times later today with dry weather still forecast for qualifying. The top three were separated by just 0.049s, whilst Hill edged out Rory Butcher (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK) for fourth.
Dan Cammish and Dan Rowbottom ensured there would be three NAPA Racing UK cars in the top ten, whilst the likes of Tom Chilton (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8), Aron Taylor-Smith (CarStore Power Maxed Racing) and Daniel Lloyd (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils) also posted front-running times.
Yorkshireman Lloyd will again be looking to perform well in front of his home crowd here at Croft, having won here twice last season.
Reigning champion Tom Ingram was a notable absentee from the top ten with the Hyundai i30N racer down in 20th.
Free Practice 2 takes place at 1150 whilst Qualifying commences at 1525, with the latter being streamed LIVE via the ITV Sport YouTube channel.
Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing, said: “Hopefully the smile lasts! Rain affected the session towards the end but not when I did my run. The pace is still quite a way off where we will all end up, so we certainly have quite a lot of work to do to find a bit more pace in the car. It felt okay, though, coming out of the blocks, but we are going to have to find some time.
“It wasn’t the best lap from me and there were a few areas I am aware of to improve the car. Hopefully putting those two things together will help to find a chunk of time and make sure we are right at the sharp end come Qualifying.”
More to follow…
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – FP1 – Croft
- Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing 1:22.724s
- Colin Turkington, Team BMW +0.030s
- Ash Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +0.049s
- Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +0.528s
- Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.606s
- Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +0.659s
- Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.667s
- Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.765s
- Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.772s
- Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +0.837s
- Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +0.863s
- Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +1.139s
- Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +1.232s
- Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.239s
- Adam Morgan, Team BMW +1.315s
- Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +1.347s
- Michael Crees, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +1.419s
- George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +1.491s
- Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +1.578s
- Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +1.630s
- Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +2.048s
- Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +2.310s
- Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +2.485s
- Jade Edwards, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +4.198s
- Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +7.867s