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Josh Cook: ‘I was hanging on to that!’

Josh Cook was ‘mega pleased’ to secure pole position in qualifying for the British Touring Car Championship races at Thruxton, as he notched up the third outright pole of his touring car career.

Cook is one of the form drivers around the Hampshire circuit, having won seven times at his home track since 2018.

Last year, Cook picked up three victories at the circuit over the six races held, and he has firmly established himself as the favourite on home turf.

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The BTC Racing driver had earlier been fastest in second practice, but with only 1.5 seconds of hybrid boost available to him for being second in the drivers’ championship, and the way the track changes over the course of the day, he said he wasn’t sure if his earlier form would convert into qualifying pace.

“I’m really, really pleased for the team. You never know if that pace is going to carry over from free practice into qualifying,” explained Cook.

“We talk about the circuit evolving as drivers, because as more rubber goes down, it changes the way the car handles, and I struggled a little bit with balance in the car.

“The rear was quite stable and it was really hurting me getting a lap time out of the car, and then we did a bit of a change for that last run and my god, it went the other way! I was hanging on to that!

“I’m just mega pleased for the team. We know that qualifying isn’t our best around here in this car, but our race pace in the past has been really, really good.

“We’re in a good place and just need to try and convert it tomorrow.

“It’s difficult to try and put a race distance together because it’s so hard on the tyres.

“Historically we’ve had a good car and I’m lucky that last year we got to do a race run with a lot of weight in the car, from success ballast, and the minimum weight of the car is quite similar to that now, so at least we’ve got a bit of data that we can look back on.

“I’m mega happy, I’m going to go and have a sit down, gather my thoughts and look forward to tomorrow.”

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