Josh Cook will take the wheel of the Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus ST in the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The 25-year-old recently announced his departure from the Triple Eight MG squad, after finishing 12th overall in the Drivers’ Championship last year.
Cook will take over from regular Maximum Motorsport driver, Stewart Lines, the Team Principal having sustained injuries in a mountain bike fall in January that left him with muscle and ligament damage.
“I’m elated to be back on the grid for 2017 – it all turned around in the space of 24 hours,” said Cook.
“The support that I received when I announced my departure from MG was incredible. I’m immensely grateful to Stewart for enabling my return this coming season. It’s taken a lot of effort with multiple new sponsors but thank you to everyone involved. I can’t wait to get stuck into pre-season testing.
“I think we’ve got a great package with Maximum Motorsport, the Focus has been upgraded over the off-season and with Team Parker Racing looking after the operation of the car throughout the year, we should be pushing for strong finishes from the off.”
Despite not commiting to a third BTCC season behind the wheel himself, the opportunity to partner with the triple podium finisher was one Lines could only jump at.
“After my accident, we started analysing our options forthcoming campaign to allow myself enough time for recovery,” added Lines. “When Josh announced he was without a drive, we grasped the opportunity to sign a very capable young talent.
“I’m disappointed that I won’t be lining up on the 2017 grid, as the car has undergone a significant programme of upgrades over the winter period and is now down to a much lighter weight. Despite this, I am delighted we’re running Josh this season and believe we’ve got the complete package to produce some strong finishes.”
The team will commence testing in the coming weeks, before revealling a new livery to its Ford Focus at the BTCC Media Day on 16 March.