Josh Cook reigns supreme at Thruxton
Heading into the Thruxton weekend, eyes were on the BTC Racing Honda Civic Type-R of Josh Cook. With seven wins around the Hampshire circuit before the first visit in 2022, Cook knew that he only needed one victory to have more at Thruxton than any other driver in BTCC history.
Leaving it late in qualifying, he showed why he’s being tipped as the “King of Thruxton” by jumping to the top of the time sheets to take pole position, setting himself up for a strong start on Sunday. Second-placed Jake Hill’s BMW made its traditional fast start to take the lead off the line, but a brilliant move around the outside of Campbell corner leapfrogged Cook back up to the top. Despite heavy pressure from the BMW in the closing stages of the race, a combination of great defending from Cook and tyre struggles for Hill allowed the Honda driver to streak to a record-breaking eighth triumph at the track.
Race two could have been a carbon copy of the opening encounter if you solely focused on the front two. A stellar start from Hill allowed the BMW to jump into the lead heading into the complex for the first time, while Cook was forced to try and hold back reigning champion Ash Sutton in his NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus. Holding a clear second place once out onto the flowing back section of the circuit, Cook set about hunting down Hill, and, in a contender for overtake of the year, swept around the outside of the BMW into the chicane to take the lead. In similar vein to race one, a late charge from Hill put Cook under pressure, but there was to be no stopping the BTC Racing driver taking his second win of the day, and fifth of the season.
Starting from seventh in the final reversed-grid race of the day, Cook moved up two spots to come home fifth and round off a hugely successful weekend and enhance his reputation for being pretty good around the fastest track in Britain. With another meeting at Thruxton lined up for the late August Bank Holiday weekend, and a relatively large lead in the points standings already, Cook can rightly look forward to the summer leg of the BTCC.