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Josh Cook: ‘Win means a lot after a tough few months’

Josh Cook was relieved to be able to reward his BTC Racing team with victory in the final British Touring Car Championship race at Thruxton, after a succession of difficult summer rounds.

Cook went into his second home event of 2022 having already won twice at Thruxton earlier in the year – at the time being one of the early championship contenders.

However, he and the team have struggled for pace in recent events, with Cook falling away from the overall drivers’ title battle.

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Having qualified his Honda in second on Saturday – narrowly missing out on pole position by just 0.017 seconds – Cook found himself in the thick of the front-running action in Sunday’s opening race.

Unfortunately for the 31-year-ol,d he was knocked wide on the opening lap of the race by Ash Sutton and slipped down the order, ultimately only finishing in 13th.

In race two, Cook made up five places to finish in eighth, which gave him a fourth-place starting position for the partially reversed grid final race of the day.

From there, Cook rocketed past Michael Crees at the start, before picking off BMW’s Colin Turkington further around the lap and the leading car of Stephen Jelley at the end of the second lap.

Cook was unstoppable thereafter, going on to notch up his fifth win of the season and win by over two and a half seconds.

“That one was for the guys who have put in so much hard work on my car since the start of the season,” said Cook. “They haven’t stopped pushing, and it is great to be able to reward them in this way.

“The car was the best I have ever known it in race three: it was simply on rails. I could put the Honda exactly where I wanted it and it would have grip.

“What was also great was that we had no drop-off in performance from the tyres because we’d managed the degradation through engineering skill. It was just the best BTCC car I think I have ever driven.

“I’m still speechless. It’s been a tough few months so to get that for the team, that meant a lot.

“The BMWs are quick and as soon as they switch their tyres on they’re too quick, so I had to pounce while they were still building everything up to temperature.

“Then I just got my head down and it was quali lap after quali lap, and I was expecting the car to drop away but it never did.”

Cook remains fifth overall in the drivers’ standings with 243 points, 68 points from the top of the table.

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