Cook on Croft BTCC pole

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Josh Cook followed up his Thruxton win with pole at Croft. Photo credit: media

Josh Cook claimed pole position for the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Croft in the most dramatic qualifying session of the season.

The BTC Racing driver was initially second at the end of the session but was promoted to pole when Tom Ingram’s pace setting Toyota Corolla was found to have failed a ride height check, meaning he will start the race from the back of the grid.

A similar fate befell third placed Senna Proctor in the Hyundai, promoting MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square’s Jake Hill to second, and defending champion Colin Turkington to third. The eventual top three drivers showed great consistency having also occupied the top three places in the second free practice session which had taken place just a couple of hours before qualifying.

Josh Cook said: “It’s fairly ironic for me as I failed the ride height check at Oulton Park and lost the win. I’m gutted for those guys if that has happened, it can be cruel sometimes. All I can say is it was just a mega job by the guys at BTC Racing! It’s been obvious that we’ve struggled on a Saturday the past few weekends, and we’ve worked really really hard since [Silverstone] and we just came out swinging in FP1 today and the car is phenomenal. I feel a bit like we had a little more in the tank, but everyone says that. 

“The guys and girls at BTC Racing have worked really hard and obviously Team Dynamics have been helping out too so it’s good to be working with them again to resolve our issues. All I can say is credit to the team, it’s been a tough season and all you can do is get your head down and keep on going, and that’s all we’ve done. It’s been a good day today, but obviously it only counts tomorrow.”

Tom Oliphant was fourth making the second row a BMW lockout. Bobby Thompson was a best ever fifth in the sole GKR Audi S3.

Championship leader Ash Sutton was a frustrated sixth having topped the times early on before spinning off at Clervaux which brought out the red flag and resulted in him losing his best time.

Tom Chilton was seventh ahead of Matt Neal and Michael Crees, meaning there were five Hondas in the top nine. 

Rory Butcher rounded out the top ten in his rebuilt Motorbase Ford Focus following his heavy shunt two weeks ago at Silverstone.

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Freelance sports journalist with an immense passion for motorsport. I will be focusing on the BTCC this season and I look forward to bringing the latest news, analysis and features from the paddock.
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