BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R driver Josh Cook made a storming start to the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season with a double victory at Thruxton.
The 29-year-old from Bath took advantage of early drama involving reigning champion Ash Sutton and four-time title winner Colin Turkington to dominate the opening two races at the Hampshire venue.
Sutton bounced back to win a thrilling final race of the day in mixed conditions in his Infiniti Q50, while a hat-trick of podiums for MB Motorsport Ford Focus ST driver Jake Hill meant he ended the weekend leading the points. Here are the key takeaways from the three races at Thruxton.
Cook’s Thruxton flyer
Cook has strong form at Thruxton: six of his 10 career wins have now comes at the high-speed venue, which plays to the strengths of his Civic Type R.
Starting from third on the grid in the opening race, Cook jumped into the lead after first-lap contact between Sutton and Turkington (see below) and then pulled clear of Tom Ingram, who was having his first outing in an ExcelR8 Hyundai i30 N Fastback.
After an early tussle with Ingram in race two, Cook soon pulled into a clear lead again. He was helped when former works Honda driver Dan Cammish (on a one-off guest outing with BTC Racing) battled up to second and then acted as a rear gunner to the finish.
While Cook struggled with full ballast in mixed conditions in the final race, it was still an incredible start to the season for the 29-year-old.
Sutton’s rollercoaster day
Reigning champion Sutton began the weekend by clinching pole position in his Laser Tools Racing Q50 and ended it on the top of the podium - but endured plenty of drama between those events.
Sutton was pitched into a spin after slight contact with Turkington on the first lap of the opening race. A safety-car period helped him keep touch with the pack and he charged back up to ninth place at the finish.