Triple Eight Racing‘s Josh Cook was happy with MG’s pace at the fourth meeting of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park, but was less delighted with some of the driving standards of his fellow racers on the day.
The reigning Jack Sears Trophy champion was a consistent front-runner throughout the weekend at Cheshire, collecting results of seventh, sixth and fifth to move up to ninth in the championship.
Hard fights with Rob Collard in race two and both Gordon Shedden and Tom Ingram in the final race of the day saw Cook embroiled in the thick of Sunday’s most frenetic action, the MG man questioning some of the antics along the way.
“It just got dangerous didn’t it?” Cook told The Checkered Flag. “I’m all for good hard racing and good defending – I did it myself in race two – but there comes a point when just defending turns into being really dangerous.”
A front row start was converted into a close second place for Cook behind race three’s eventual winner, Matt Neal, but contact with the second Halfords Yuasa Racing Civic Type-R of Shedden at Druids sent the MG into a lurid slide.
Cook recovered that particular moment, leading to a race-long battle with a defensive Ingram for the remainder of the encounter. The battle ended in contact at the final two corners, Cook finishing fifth behind Jason Plato‘s Subaru Levorg and Ingram’s Toyota Avensis.
“We had good pace in the car, the guys did a great job to repair it after it got destroyed by a few guys in race two. Just a bit of a bumper car day. It’s notoriously hard to overtake around here, but a few people just resorted into driving into each other.
“I’m a bit gutted, especially to be punted off by Shedden and then to be stuck behind Ingram. Any time I got anywhere near him, alongside, even completely alongside, on the straight, in a bend, inside or outside – as soon as I was there it was contact.
“In race two I was battling with Collard, I made him go the long way and, fair play to him, he held it and took the place. He made a mistake next corner, paid the price and I got the place back.
“Tom’s obviously quite new to touring car racing”, Cook added on the many dices he found himself involved in during race three. “He’s quick, but he’s new to touring car racing. Shedden obviously thought there was a gap appearing and it never appeared and I got a bit of a shunt in the rear, but I’ve had plenty of good races with Shedden and I’m sure it wasn’t intentional.
“That’s the way that it goes sometimes. We saved it, continued. I’m not going to hold a grudge, I’ve just got to try to take all the positives from the weekend. The guys gave me a great car.”