Rich Energy BTC Racing star takes pole position in Hampshire
Josh Cook has taken pole position for Round 7 of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship after the Thruxton specialist produced the goods yet again at the UK’s fastest circuit.
The 30-year-old has an enviable record around the 2.36-mile layout, having scored seven wins at the Hampshire speedbowl over the past four years, but the Bath racer left it late in qualifying to snatch pole from title rival Jake Hill.
ROKiT MB Motorsport’s Hill has been in fine form since his switch to the West Surrey Racing stable, and the BMW man looked to have taken P1, before eventually having to settle for a front-row starting berth for tomorrow’s opener.
NAPA Racing UK enjoyed a very solid qualifying session, with Dan Cammish and Ash Sutton setting the third and fifth-fastest times respectively, whilst the Team BMW machine of Colin Turkington will line up between them.
Dan Rowbottom was sixth for Halfords Racing with Cataclean, but his Honda Civic Type R suffered damage late on following contact with the Ford Focus of Sam Osborne – the former having slowed to pit while the latter was still running on a flying lap.
Jason Plato was on the second row for much of the 30-minute run but his Rich Energy BTC Racing Honda dropped to seventh late on, ahead of championship leader Tom Ingram after the Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com racer extracted everything from his hybrid-free Hyundai.
Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Gordon Shedden and Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley completed the top ten.
Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place at Thruxton tomorrow (29 May) with the action getting underway on ITV4 from 1100.
Josh Cook said: “I was hanging on to that. I’m just mega pleased for the team. We know that qualifying isn’t our best around here in this car, but our race pace in the past has been really, really good. We’re in a good place and just need to try and convert it tomorrow. Historically we’ve had a good car and I’m lucky that last year we got to do a race run with a lot of added weight, from success ballast, and the minimum weight of the car is quite similar to that now. So at least we’ve got a bit of data to look back on. Mega happy, I’m going to go and have a sit down, gather my thoughts and look forward to tomorrow.”
Jake Hill said: “Fantastic, I’m absolutely over the moon. Another front row for me, which is just brilliant. It was always going to be hard to beat Josh [Cook] – he has such a great record around here. WSR has done a fantastic job in improving the front end of this car for the high-speed stuff, and it seems to have worked. So a huge thank you to WSR and MB Motorsport for what they’ve done. It’s difficult because we know what we’ve got over a race run and we think it’s pretty good, but at the same time, that Honda’s extremely quick over a race run as well. Ultimately, if we can get the jump off the line then we’ll see from there.”
Dan Cammish said: “P3 is a good result, I wasn’t expecting that. Halfway through I was kind of thinking, ‘where are we going to find this little bit that we need from?’ We got close a couple of times and on that last lap, for whatever reason, the thing came alive and I got it to the line and kept my head. All you need around here is that one lap, and here we are. It’s not the same car that finished Brands and that wasn’t the same car that finished Donington. And it might not be the same car that starts at Oulton Park! It’s just a work in progress, the cars are different this year, hybrid has changed a lot. I’m just glad that we made a big step after FP1 with the car and we’ve then made small increments.”
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Thruxton
1. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing 1:15.310s
2. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +0.077s
3. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.081s
4. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.161s
5. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.216s
6. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.229s
7. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.388s
8. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.403s
9. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.661s
10. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +0.692s
11. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.714s
12. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.743s
13. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.888s
14. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +0.901s
15. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +0.916s
16. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.938s
17. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.091s
18. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +1.219s
19. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.223s
20. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +1.266s
21. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +1.286s
22. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +1.349s
23. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +1.405s
24. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +1.518s
25. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +1.683s
26. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +2.118s
27. Jack BUTEL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +2.420s
28. Rick PARFITT (GBR) Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing +2.697s
29. Will POWELL (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +2.973s