Cook holds off Hill to win Croft opener

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Cook claimed his second victory of the season. Photo Credit: media

Josh Cook produced a lights to flag victory in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car race of the day at Croft. The BTC racing driver withstood pressure from Jake Hill who shadowed him throughout the race but could not find a way through. Colin Turkington was third to close the gap to championship leader Ash Sutton to just two points.

As the lights went out, Cook made a good start to lead the pack into the first corner, Clervaux. Turkington also got a good start from third on the grid and drew alongside Hill. However, Hill toughed it out around the outside and held onto second position. 

Behind Turkington, Sutton and Rory Butcher had made good progress on the opening lap from sixth and tenth on the grid respectively. However, at the Complex, as Butcher ran side by side with Tom Oliphant he tagged the back of Sutton under braking, sending the Infiniti spinning down the order. Oliphant was forced to take evasive action which cost him a few places too.

At the front, Hill began to put huge pressure on Cook as he looked for a way to move into the lead of the race. However, Cook positioned his car well and offered Hill very little opportunity.

In the middle of the pack, Sutton, who had resumed in 12th, was flying. By lap seven he was ninth, which became eighth a lap later when he dived past Adam Morgan at the hairpin. He repeated this move on the next lap on Matt Neal for seventh. Late passes on Bobby Thompson and Tom Chilton at Tower followed and Sutton was fifth by lap 13.

At the flag, less than a second separated the faultless Cook from Hill, who was a constant menace throughout.

Turkington was a rather lonely third, ahead of Butcher and Sutton. However, post-race those positions were reversed due to the first lap clash.

Chilton just held onto sixth, ahead of Matt Neal, as the pair finished nose to tail after a good late tussle.

Thompson was eighth ahead of Adam Morgan and Dan Cammish who rounded out the top ten.

Tom Ingram was 13th from the very back of the grid despite carrying 42kg of ballast.

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