BTC Racing’s Josh Cook fought back from a slow start to dominate the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Oulton Park.
After a delayed start due to an off for Carl Boardley, Cook’s FK8 Honda Civic Type R would bog down from his front row start once the race eventually got underway.
He was first jumped by championship leader Colin Turkington before then losing out to Turkington’s team-mate Tom Oliphant on the opening lap.
Cook would then recover third from Oliphant on the following lap down the inside of Old Hall corner which allowed fellow Honda Civic runner Dan Cammish through for fourth.
Clearly unhappy with his slow start, Cook continued his progress on lap four with an inch-perfect move down the inside at Druids on Turkington to secure second position before a safety car was called due to an off for Ollie Brown’s Volkswagen CC.
The safety car intervention slashed polesitter Rory Butcher’s advantage – who had a comfortable 2.3 second gap as battles commenced behind him – and left him vulnerable at the restart.
Despite leading the restart, Cook made the move at Old Hall Corner to take a lead he would never relinquish, eventually emerging victorious by over two seconds at the flag.
UPDATE: Josh Cook was subsequently excluded from the result for failing the post-race ride height check, promoting each driver one place and handing victory to Rory Butcher.
Butcher would hold on to second after fending off mid-race pressure from Cammish, who in turn had to defend from a hard-charging Jake Hill in the FK2 Honda Civic Type R.
Reigning champion Turkington would complete the top five runners, while Cook’s team-mate Tom Chilton made up one position in sixth ahead of Tom Ingram’s Toyota Corolla, which set the fastest lap of the race.
The 2018 runner-up had enjoyed a frantic scrap with Adam Morgan and Ash Sutton, who would eventually place eighth and ninth respectively, with Chris Smiley’s Hyundai rounding out the top ten.
He led home Excelr8 Motorsport team-mate Senna Proctor while the third BTC Racing Honda Civic of Michael Crees was 12th.
Brands Hatch race three winner Tom Oliphant dropped back to 13th having run in the top three early on, while Ollie Jackson and Bobby Thompson rounding out the points-paying positions in 14th and 15th.
Matt Neal, who starts his 700th BTCC race in race two later this afternoon, was given a black-and-orange flag for a mechanical issue on his Team Dynamics-run Honda Civic after the safety car, plummeting him to the back of the grid for the second encounter.
Race two of the British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park is scheduled to get underway at 14:50 BST.
Original race result (subsequently revised)
|1||66||I||Josh COOK||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||15||25:20.926||1:36.482||2|
|2||6||I||Rory BUTCHER||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus ST||15||2.079||1:36.582||1|
|3||27||M||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||15||3.759||1:36.440||5|
|4||24||I||Jake HILL||MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square||Honda Civic Type-R||15||4.600||1:36.522||6|
|5||1||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||15||9.329||1:36.744||3|
|6||3||I||Tom CHILTON||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||15||10.901||1:37.034||7|
|7||80||M||Tom INGRAM||Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters||Toyota Corolla||15||11.638||1:36.383||14|
|8||32||I||Adam MORGAN||Carlube Triple R Racing with Mac Tools||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||15||14.059||1:36.838||9|
|9||116||I||Ashley SUTTON||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||15||21.576||1:36.690||11|
|10||22||I||Chris SMILEY||Excelr8 Motorsport||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||15||22.436||1:37.750||10|
|11||18||I||Senna PROCTOR||Excelr8 Motorsport||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||15||28.097||1:38.020||13|
|12||777||I||Michael CREES||The Clever Baggers with BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||15||29.221||1:37.663||12|
|13||15||M||Tom OLIPHANT||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||15||30.880||1:37.715||8|
|14||48||I||Ollie JACKSON||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus ST||15||32.112||1:38.002||16|
|15||19||I||Bobby THOMPSON||GKR TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||15||32.443||1:38.108||27|
|16||44||I||Andy NEATE||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus ST||15||32.838||1:38.090||23|
|17||4||I||Sam OSBORNE||MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square||Honda Civic Type-R||15||33.729||1:38.209||20|
|18||16||I||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||15||34.120||1:37.380||21|
|19||180||I||James GORNALL||GKR TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||15||38.679||1:38.398||22|
|20||32||I||Jack BUTEL||Carlube Triple R Racing with Mac Tools||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||15||47.825||1:38.786||24|
|21||12||I||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||15||52.05||1:38.628||18|
|22||21||I||Mike BUSHELL||Power Maxed Car Care Racing||Vauxhall Astra||13||2 Laps||1:36.465||15|
|23||34||I||Ollie BROWN||RCIB Insurance Racing with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||13||2 Laps||1:39.983||25|
|R||28||I||Nicolas HAMILTON||ROKiT Racing with Team HARD.||Volkswagen CC||13||DNF||1:39.604||26|
|NC||700||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||12||NCF||1:37.989||4|
|R||31||I||Jack GOFF||RCIB Insurance Racing with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||11||DNF||1:38.207||19|
|NS||41||I||Carl BOARDLEY||Team HARD.||BMW 125i M Sport||–||DNS||N/A||17|