BTC Racing’s Josh Cook converted pole position into victory in the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Croft, after soaking up early pressure from Jake Hill.
Cook managed a great getaway in his FK8 Honda Civic Type R, while Hill’s older FK2 Honda struggled off the line and initially lost out to the BMW duo of Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant.
The MB Motorsport racer then held his line around the outside at Clervaux, regaining back second position ahead of Turkington’s BMW 330i M Sport as the pair headed into the chicane for the first time.
Later in the lap it was Laser Tools Racing’s Ash Sutton who looked to get past the BMW pair, successfully passing Oliphant before pressurising title rival Turkington for third position.
The battle was shortlived, however, as Sutton was tagged into a spin by Rory Butcher’s Motorbase Ford, who had been completing a move on Oliphant as the pack headed into the complex.
The contact sent Sutton into a complete spin with Oliphant also dropping out of the top ten positions, before the former was able to recover sensationally back into the top five as he scythed through the pack in his Infiniti Q50.
Completing the podium at the end of the 15-lap encounter was reigning champion Turkington who spent the majority of the contest in splendid isolation, while Butcher eventually finished fourth some five seconds behind.
2017 champion Sutton managed a damage limitation recovery drive in fifth – leaving both him and Turkington tied on 248 points at the top of the standings – while Cook’s BTC Racing team-mate Tom Chilton placed sixth at the flag.
Fellow FK8 Honda Civic racer Matt Neal was behind Chilton in the best of the Team Dynamics entries, while Bobby Thompson managed an impressive eighth position despite having bodywork rubbing on the front-right tyre of his Audi S3 in the early stages.
In ninth position was Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan, while title contender Dan Cammish could only manage 10th in the second of the Halfords Yuasa Racing Hondas.
Next was Team BMW’s Oliphant in 11th, who failed to recover after having to take avoiding action to avoid Sutton’s spinning Infiniti on the opening lap, while Excelr8 Motorsport’s Chris Smiley came home 12th in the best of the Hyundais.
An effective recovery drive from Tom Ingram after losing pole position yesterday and starting from the back of the grid saw him finish 13th in the Toyota Corolla, while Silverstone race winner Ollie Jackson finished 14th ahead of Stephen Jelley’s BMW 125i M Sport.
The second British Touring Car Championship race at Croft is scheduled to get underway at 14:29 BST.
|1||66||I||Josh COOK||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||15||20:58.839||1:22.464||1|
|2||24||I||Jake HILL||MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square||Honda Civic Type-R||15||0.653||1:22.561||2|
|3||1||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||15||3.573||1:22.565||3|
|4||6||I||Rory BUTCHER||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus ST||15||8.592||1:23.047||10|
|5||116||I||Ashley SUTTON||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||15||10.348||1:22.669||6|
|6||3||I||Tom CHILTON||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||15||13.245||1:23.192||7|
|7||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||15||13.436||1:23.109||8|
|8||19||I||Bobby THOMPSON||GKR TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||15||16.909||1:23.353||5|
|9||32||I||Adam MORGAN||Carlube Triple R Racing with Mac Tools||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||15||17.248||1:23.229||12|
|10||27||M||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||15||17.663||1:23.143||14|
|11||15||M||Tom OLIPHANT||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||15||17.89||1:23.035||4|
|12||22||I||Chris SMILEY||Excelr8 Motorsport||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||15||21.148||1:23.731||13|
|13||80||M||Tom INGRAM||Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters||Toyota Corolla||15||21.553||1:22.781||24|
|14||48||I||Ollie JACKSON||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus ST||15||23.441||1:23.542||11|
|15||12||I||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||15||23.748||1:23.443||16|
|16||16||I||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||15||25.347||1:23.298||15|
|17||31||I||Jack GOFF||RCIB Insurance Racing with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||15||27.187||1:23.815||18|
|18||18||I||Senna PROCTOR||Excelr8 Motorsport||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||15||27.663||1:23.837||25|
|19||21||I||Mike BUSHELL||RCIB Insurance Racing with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||15||28.22||1:23.900||20|
|20||41||I||Carl BOARDLEY||Team HARD.||BMW 125i M Sport||15||40.219||1:23.452||19|
|21||44||I||Andy NEATE||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus ST||15||55.454||1:24.860||21|
|22||777||I||Michael CREES||The Clever Baggers with BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||14||1 Lap||1:23.144||9|
|R||32||I||Jack BUTEL||Carlube Triple R Racing with Mac Tools||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||11||DNF||1:24.081||22|
|R||28||I||Nicolas HAMILTON||ROKiT Racing with Team HARD.||Volkswagen CC||6||DNF||1:27.371||23|
|R||4||I||Sam OSBORNE||MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square||Honda Civic Type-R||4||DNF||1:27.513||17|
|NS||29||I||Jac CONSTABLE||Power Maxed Car Care Racing||Vauxhall Astra||0||DNS||N/A||–|