Josh Cook lived up to the mantle of being the ‘King of Thruxton’ during Saturday’s Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship qualifying session as he produced a superlative lap to clinch pole position.
The Rich Energy BTC Racing driver - who has scored seven wins in his last six visits to the high-speed Hampshire venue - produced the goods late on to set himself up for a strong race day tomorrow (May 29).
At the wheel of his Honda Civic Type R, the Bath racer punched in a best time of 1:15.310 to narrowly pip the ROKiT MB Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport of Jake Hill. Having topped the times heading into the closing stages, Hill missed out on his second pole of the season by a mere 0.077s.
NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish made a late charge up the order to clinch third whilst four-time champion Colin Turkington and reigning title holder Ash Sutton rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively.
Dan Rowbottom produced his best qualifying performance of the season to-date to secure sixth with double champion Jason Plato enjoying a solid showing in his own BTC Racing Honda to secure seventh.
Championship leader Tom Ingram, Gordon Shedden and Stephen Jelley filled the remaining spots on the grid inside the top ten for the first of what promises to be three blockbusters races on Sunday.
Josh Cook: “I’m really happy with that; it was a pretty lively lap and I was hanging on! It feels sweet though because we had struggled a little earlier in the session and made a few tweaks to shift the balance. I can’t tell you why things seem to click around here with me but they just do. What I do know is that we have really good race pace around here so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do tomorrow. A big haul of points is the aim.”
It wasn’t just the BTCC that had fans on the edge of their seats however as the championships that make up the TOCA support bill also took centre stage around the high-speed 2.36-mile layout.
The Quaife MINI CHALLENGE Trophy - which boasted a bumper 30-car entry list - led the way with two frenetic races. Nelson King narrowly prevailed in the opening contest after pipping Louie Capozzoli and Matt Hammond in a drag to the line.
Capozzoli would strike back in the second bout as he chalked up his first win of the season after fending off the advances of Alfie Glenie.
Potential future stars of Formula 1 were in action in the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA, with Alex Dunne storming to the chequered flag to claim victory ahead of Ugo Ugochukwu and Oliver Gray.
Harley Haughton was victorious in the opening Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge race of the weekend whilst Harry Foster reigned supreme in the Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB.
Rounding out the day’s action was a pulsating qualifying session for the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship. Whilst a number of drivers traded times at the top over the course of the session it was Will Macintyre that ultimately clinched pole position for the first of tomorrow’s two races.
To view the full classification of results from all of today’s track sessions, click here.
Fans will be able to get a first-hand look at the field as the pit lane autograph session returns on Sunday morning while there will be something for everyone off-track with a variety of activities around the venue including skid pan rides for all ages, an extensive display of driving experience supercars and a trade village to explore.
Tickets are available on the gate, starting at £36. Teen tickets (13 to 15 years old) are £10, while Under-12s go free. Paddock tickets will also be available to purchase, priced at £10.