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Josh Cook pleased with third in torrentially wet conditions

Josh Cook was pleased to qualify third for the opening British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Rockingham, setting a fastest lap time of 1:36.976 in the MG6 GT.

Torrentially wet conditions at the 1.94 mile Northamptonshire circuit provided an enthralling spectacle in the foreground of a thunder storm, but for drivers and teams it provided arguably the most challenging circuit conditions for some time.

It was Gordon Shedden who eventually emerged with pole position, some 0.638 seconds clear of Cook. Mat Jackson alongside him will complete the front row of the grid.

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Cook’s late surge to the sharp end of the timesheets gave his closest rivals little time to respond and he will head up the second row of the grid with double champion Jason Plato.

Speaking shortly after the conclusion of the session, Cook admitted that, regardless of how difficult it had been managing the conditions, the thirty-minute qualifying was ultimately enjoyable.

“Yeah, that was a bit dangerous, wasn’t it?” joked Cook.

“It was good fun. A mixed session, I couldn’t see anything. I knew it was going to be difficult right until the end, so I looked after the tyres, pushed at the right time and luckily I don’t think anybody had time to respond.”

The result marks Cook’s second best qualifying result of the season, his first with the works MG outfit, after he also took second on the grid for the meeting at Donington Park in mid-April.

He also paid tribute to the MG RCIB Insurance Racing team for turning his car around after a spate of issues in recent weekends, and felt qualifying as a whole went as well as it could have.

“Good session – credit to the guys for turning my car around because we’ve had some difficult issues over the last few race meetings.”

The first race will get underway at 11:37 tomorrow, with potentially huge ramifications for the championship battle as standings leader Sam Tordoff starts towards the back along with title rivals Matt Neal and Rob Collard.

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