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Josh Cook ‘a bit gutted’ to miss out on pole position in Oulton Park qualifying

BTC Racing’s Josh Cook admitted he was a “big gutted” to miss out on pole position in qualifying for the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Oulton Park.

Cook enjoyed strong pace throughout Saturday at the Cheshire circuit, setting the pace in the second practice session earlier in the day before qualifying on the front row of the grid for race one.

His lap put him less than a tenth adrift of polesitter Butcher, which he admitted left him disappointed, although he believes he has a good basis to work from with confidence in the Honda’s race pace.

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“Obviously a bit gutted for the guys not to get the pole position but the front row is good. We’ve had a tough couple of weekends so we needed to come here and have a good session today that’s for sure,” Cook told ITV.

“We need to collect some points tomorrow so we’re going to be racing but we know the strength of our car is on the Sunday. We’ve got a real good race setup so we’ll have to see what we can do against Rory.”

Cook has endured a difficult start to his 2020 season, with a podium in race three at Donington Park the highlight amongst disappointing results that have left him with just 26 points to his name and 13th in the standings.

“I think we’ve got a decent deficit at the minute so we need to get a few points, so I can’t really afford to be too conservative,” he explained.

“We need to get a few results. The points on the board throughout our team aren’t representative of the pace we’ve got in the car, not representative of the effort everybody has put in.

“We deserve to be in a better place because the guys have done such a good job so front row is good, but we need to convert it tomorrow.”

With standings leader Colin Turkington directly behind him on the grid for race one tomorrow, Cook hinted that the onus is on the Northern Irishman to decide how aggressive he wants to be using his rear-wheel drive advantage at the start.

“We’re in different positions in the championship, Colin is obviously trying to get decent, consistent results so I think that’s for him to decide how stuck in he’s going to get because we’re certainly going to have our elbows out.”

The opening British Touring Car Championship race at Oulton Park is scheduled to get underway at 12:20 BST.

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