Josh Cook fights back to dominate wet opening race at Oulton Park

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.

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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)

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
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

BTCC points deficit after Round 7
Graphic: TouringCars.Net

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