Josh Cook admitted that getting back up to speed with racing was ‘a bit of a shock to the system’ as the BTC Racing driver claimed victory in the season opening race of the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton.
Cook moved into the lead of the first race when pole-sitter Ash Sutton was turned around by Colin Turkington at the complex on the first lap, giving Cook, who started from second, a clear track.
The Bath-born driver then withstood early pressure from the Hyundai of Tom Ingram to control the race and take his fifth win around Thruxton, and the ninth of his career, to open his season account in style.
“We’re in at the deep end a bit here, the fastest circuit in the UK and first time out of the year,” said Cook. “It was a bit of a shock to the system the first time when the lights went out but it’s good!
“I’m really, really chuffed for the whole of BTC Racing; we’ve had a tough winter, but a good start to the year.
“We’ve just got to keep the ball rolling and try to see if we could do some more damage this afternoon.”
Cook admitted that he didn’t feel he had it easy in the race, with the constant threat from Excelr8 Motorsport’s Ingram being present in his mirrors.
“We need to be in this position at the end of the year. So we’ve got to get our heads down! Credit to Tom and the guys in the Hyundai, they’ve really got that thing going quickly, I had to push it all the way.
“It wasn’t an easy race, that’s for sure! As soon as the safety car restart, I just had to keep my head down and try and get those laps in.
“The guys have got such a good race car set-up beneath me that me driving is the easy bit. Credit to the whole team, they deserve it.”