JOSH COOK AND ASHLEY SUTTON WIN BTCC THRILLERS AT THRUXTON
Josh Cook and Ashley Sutton claimed victory at Thruxton this past weekend (May 8/9) as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship lifted the curtain on its 2021 season in blockbuster fashion.
In what proved to be a pulsating day of action around the high-speed Hampshire venue, Britain’s premier Motorsport series took centre stage with a trio of action-packed encounters that undoubtedly had fans on the edge of their seats watching at home.
Coming off the back of an exciting wet-dry qualifying on Saturday which saw reigning champion Sutton power to pole position in the final moments, drama ensued immediately as the lights went out on the new campaign on Sunday with a number of lead contenders in strife.
After launching off the line and into the lead, Sutton was tipped into a spin by the BMW of Colin Turkington at the Complex and dropped to the rear of the field. Further back, Gordon Shedden and Chris Smiley had come together around one of the fastest parts of the circuit and hit the barriers whilst there was also a spin for Tom Oliphant on the run up Woodham Hill.
When the dust had settled, BTC Racing’s Cook found himself in the pound seat and after soaking up early pressure from Tom Ingram he managed to pull clear to claim victory. Jake Hill withstood race-long pressure from Turkington to round out the podium whilst Sutton managed to recover to ninth having been as low as 27th at one stage.
Cook doubled up as he led a BTC Racing 1-2 with Dan Cammish following in second and the ever-impressive MB Motorsport Ford Focus of Hill completing the rostrum once again.
The start of the race saw a scary accident that involved Andy Neate, Glynn Geddie and Jade Edwards as the field streamed through Allard. All three cars made heavy contact with the Cupra of Geddie being sent into a roll. Thankfully all drivers walked away unharmed however the red flag halted proceedings.
At the restart, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Rory Butcher lost control of his Corolla and hit the tyre stack at Noble bringing out the safety car. When the race did settle down it was Cook that controlled proceedings as he hustled his ballast ladened Honda Civic Type R to a second win of the day.
Sutton finally took a victory after completing two comeback drives earlier in the day. In what was a frenetic wet-dry-wet bout, the double champion made the most of the challenging conditions to claim a deserved win.
Hill was arguably one of the stars of the show as he scored his third podium of the day whilst scrambling on slick tyres. It would have been second had it not been for Jason Plato pipping him on the run to the flag.
The Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship boasted the biggest grid in its history for a season opener and it didn’t disappoint as Tom Edgar and Callum Voisin shared the spoils, taking a win apiece.
Josh Steed was victorious in the second Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge encounter whilst Theo Edgerton repeated his Saturday exploits by winning in the Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB.
James Hedley continued his scintillating form around Thruxton in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA - powered by Ford EcoBoost with another win before Joseph Loake tallied his maiden victory in the single-seater series.
Alex Solley capped off the list of winners around the 2.36-mile circuit, triumphing in the final MINI CHALLENGE Trophy race of the weekend.
BTCC returns to thruxton in August
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship returns to Thruxton on August 28/29, with fans permitted to attend. Tickets are available to buy now