Josh Cook secures maiden pole position at Donington Park with last-gasp lap

Josh Cook secures maiden pole position at Donington Park with last-gasp lap

Photo: PSP Images

Power Maxed Racing’s Josh Cook planted his Vauxhall Astra on pole position with a last-gasp lap to deny Chris Smiley’s Honda Civic Type R.

Cook continued his fine form in the wet conditions at the Leicestershire circuit, after he clocked second in opening practice and topped the following session earlier this afternoon.

The positions looked to have settled down with most drivers setting their fastest times midway through the half-hour session, but lap times improved dramatically in the dying moments.

BTC Norlin’s Chris Smiley looked to have secured his first ever pole position, before Cook’s Vauxhall edged him out by 0.030 seconds.

The result marked the first pole position for Vauxhall in the BTCC since Dave Newsham at Brands Hatch Indy in 2012.

2016 BTCC runner-up Sam Tordoff set provisional pole just before halfway mark, but dropped to third due to Cook and Smiley’s efforts.

Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish improved from seventh to fourth late in the session, with Aiden Moffat qualifying fifth – setting a lap time before he went off at Goddards with broken suspension.

Eurotech Racing’s Jack Goff managed to qualify his Honda Civic Type R sixth on the grid, despite carrying 66kg of success ballast as he sits second in the points standings.

James Nash made it both BTC Norlin Hondas in the top ten, with a similar story for Motorbase Performance as Tom Chilton qualified eighth.

Next was Goff’s Eurotech stablemate Brett Smith, who went one better than his qualifying efforts at Brands Hatch, with Ciceley Motorsport’s Tom Oliphant completing the top ten.

Reigning champion Ash Sutton could only manage 22nd, after he underwent an engine change between FP2 and qualifying.

Andrew Jordan suffered from a split turbo pipe in second practice earlier this afternoon, and his problems continued as his smokey BMW 125i M Sport was forced to finish qualifying early.

Meanwhile, Jake Hill was sat 10th before he failed a ride height check mid session, meaning his time was deleted and he will start 31st.

Qualifying – Result:

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 66 M Josh COOK Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra 18 1:19.816 0.000
2 22 Chris SMILEY BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic Type R 18 1:19.846 0.030
3 600 Sam TORDOFF Team GardX Racing with Motorbase Ford Focus RS 15 1:19.983 0.167
4 27 M Dan CAMMISH Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 17 1:20.095 0.279
5 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 13 1:20.311 0.495
6 31 Jack GOFF WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R 17 1:20.338 0.522
7 14 James NASH BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic Type R 18 1:20.338 0.522
8 3 Tom CHILTON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 17 1:20.396 0.580
9 39 Brett SMITH WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R 19 1:20.481 0.665
10 15 Tom OLIPHANT Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 18 1:20.520 0.704
11 2 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 18 1:20.580 0.764
12 20 James COLE Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 17 1:20.615 0.799
13 33 Adam MORGAN MAC Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 16 1:20.617 0.801
14 303 Matt SIMPSON Simpson Racing Honda Civic Type R 19 1:20.665 0.849
15 18 M Senna PROCTOR Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra 18 1:20.685 0.869
16 80 Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 17 1:20.718 0.902
17 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 17 1:20.727 0.911
18 23 Sam SMELT AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 17 1:20.908 1.092
19 6 Rory BUTCHER AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing MG 6 16 1:20.941 1.125
20 11 Rob AUSTIN DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta 17 1:20.981 1.165
21 99 M Jason PLATO Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 14 1:21.004 1.188
22 1 M Ashley SUTTON Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 5 1:21.044 1.228
23 60 Stephen JELLEY Team Parker Racing BMW 125i M Sport 19 1:21.326 1.510
24 19 Bobby THOMPSON Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars Volkswagen CC 14 1:21.333 1.517
25 5 M Rob COLLARD Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 17 1:21.361 1.545
26 28 Josh PRICE Autoglym Academy Racing Subaru Levorg GT 17 1:21.396 1.580
27 48 Ollie JACKSON AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 16 1:21.482 1.666
28 21 Mike BUSHELL Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing Volkswagen CC 14 1:21.538 1.722
29 12 Tom BOARDMAN AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing MG 6 14 1:22.072 2.256
30 77 M Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 125i M Sport 3 1:22.322 2.506
31 24 Jake HILL Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing Volkswagen CC 17 No time N/A
32 44 Michael CAINE Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars Volkswagen CC 2 No time N/A