Josh Cook ‘incredibly frustrated’ with weekend-defining race one contact

Josh Cook ‘incredibly frustrated’ with weekend-defining race one contact

Josh Cook
Photo: PSP Images

Power Maxed Racing’s Josh Cook was ‘incredibly frustrated’ to retire from the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Silverstone, which affected his entire weekend score.

Cook went into the weekend fifth overall in the drivers’ championship standings and duly qualified in a reasonable 14th for the first race.

However, the Vauxhall Astra driver was taken out of the opening race when contact from BTC Norlin Racing’s Chris Smiley pitched him into the gravel at Brooklands corner. Smiley was officially reprimanded for the incident.

That left a frustrated Cook to start from the back in 28th position for race two, although he put on an overtaking show and eventually finished the race in 12th position after an come-back drive.

Improving again in the final race of the weekend, Cook took the chequered flag in fourth, just missing out on a podium finish as he caught Rob Austin late in the race but was unable to make further progress after passing the Alfa Romeo driver.

“Before being pushed off in race one we were showing really strong pace, so that was incredibly frustrating,” said Cook, who slipped a place to sixth overall in the standings.

“Starting from the back for race two was hard work, but the lack of weight gave me an extra advantage to fight through the pack.

“I loved race three; it was tense but gave the fans exactly what they want to see when I was battling Rob [Austin].

“It’s been a tough day, and had we not been taken out in race one I think the standings would look very different, but we go into the final in a strong position.”

The team’s Technical Director, Martin Broadhurst, believes that without Cook’s race-ending contact in race one the team could have stood on the top step of the podium at the weekend.

“Overall it’s been a really positive weekend, and the team have worked incredibly hard to bring us the points,” said Broadhurst. “I’m disappointed with the contact that ended up putting Josh out of action in race one, as I think that with the pace of the car during the day, it would’ve given us the opportunity to challenge for victory in race three.

“To go into the final second in the Teams’ [standings] is a fantastic achievement, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens come the final round.”

Team Principal Adam Weaver praised Cook for his driving in the latter two races after his earlier retirement.

“It’s been a good year for us as a team and going into the final ahead of teams that’ve won the championship multiple times is obviously a boost for all of us.

“Josh drove incredibly this weekend, especially after being forced to retire so early in race one, and I’m convinced that had that not happened, we’d be even further up the table.”