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Josh Cook has ‘a lot of positives to take away’ from Brands Hatch

Speedworks Motorsport’s Josh Cook says there are ‘a lot of positives to take away’ from his Brands Hatch British Touring Car Championship weekend, despite being ‘a little bit disappointed’ with his results.

In his second meeting in the Toyota Corolla, Cook progressed into the final ‘Quick Six’ part of qualifying for the first time, emerging as the leading Toyota driver.

He duly converted that promising pace into a first podium visit of the season in race one, fighting past long-time rival Ash Sutton in the latter stages of the race to take second.

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In race two, the 32-year-old had been part of a pack which was fighting to pass the BMW of Jake Hill, when his rear bumper took a slight touch.

Despite getting past and up to what was then third, later in the race whilst running in fourth Cook was called in to the pits by officials to have his damaged bumper addressed.

When he rejoined the race in last, Cook could do little better than to circulate around for a 16th place finish.

Struggling with the setup of his car in the final race, Cook salvaged a handful of points with 11th, which nonetheless keeps him in fifth overall in the drivers’ championship standings after six races.

“The pace was good in the car, that’s positive,” said Cook to TouringCars.Net. “Race one was really good, but race two was just really unfortunate.

“We had a bit of luck at the beginning, got put on the grass and picked up some loose grass. The engine was overheating but I managed to get rid of it with some creative driving.

“Under the safety car the engine temperature was back to normal. I had some good pace to catch the guys in front and I felt like I probably could have got up to second or third again, but I got the black and orange [flag] for the bumper.

“It’s inevitable in touring car racing that people will start bumping into you at the hairpins and stuff, so I just slowed down a bit to hopefully get somebody to bump it off but it didn’t happen.

“I had to come and get that seen to after the safety car, which was annoying, because we didn’t get the flag before, so that’s where the day took a turn with the last place.

“In race three there was something that was quite off. The car was nothing like what it was in race two, so we need to look at that and understand why.

“Overall, I’m a little bit disappointed with the results that we got in races two and three, but we’ve taken a big step forward with the car, so there’s a lot of positives to take away.”

Cook wasn’t perturbed by his lack of podium and race winning results so far in 2024, as all of his rivals ahead in the standings have more experience with both their teams and cars.

“We’re learning so much about the car all the time. The challenge for us hasn’t been just fighting for championship points all the time, it’s been making the car better and getting me more comfortable. That’s where all of our effort is going to at the minute.

“We can just keep getting the best results we can get and the championship will end up where we end up.

“We’ve got a little bit of work to do to be as comfortable as the likes of [Tom] Ingram and Sutton that have been in the same car, same team for a good number of years.”

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