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Josh Cook: ‘Past success at Thruxton doesn’t mean we’ll be successful again’

Josh Cook – the British Touring Car Championship’s most successful driver around Thruxton – insists that his previous form at the high-speed Hampshire circuit doesn’t necessarily mean he will be able to replicate that success again.

Cook heads to his home circuit this weekend seeking a first win of the year, and his first win in the BTCC since 2022.

The Speedworks Motorsport driver arrives off the back of a double podium last time out at Snetterton, in which he played his part in a historic 1-2-3 result for Toyota in the series.

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Bath-based Cook has previously gone well at Thruxton, scoring ten victories including at least one win every year from 2018 to 2022, including three in 2021 and 2022 when the series visited the circuit on two occasions.

This year, Thruxton features just once on the calendar, with the 32-year-old insisting that his previous record does not necessarily make him a shoo-in for victory.

“I’ve always seemed to ‘click’ with Thruxton. I’m not too sure why, to be honest – I just really enjoy driving there,” said Cook. “Its high-speed nature makes it so much fun, and the more risk you take, the greater the potential reward.

“It’s almost a lap of two halves, with a sharp contrast between the flat-out middle section where there’s hardly any margin for error and you’re just hanging on for dear life, and the first and last sectors, which are more technical.

“That means you inevitably have to compromise somewhere and decide where you really want to exploit the car to gain the biggest advantage.

“One unknown this year is how powerful the hybrid will be. I suspect it will be pretty useful out of the two low-speed acceleration zones at the Complex and the Chicane, so it’ll depend upon how much you can make up out the back of the lap by strapping in extra-tight and closing your eyes!

“Just because both the car and I have been successful at Thruxton in the past, it doesn’t mean we will be successful again – nobody ever stands still in this championship.

“We will go there with a fresh mindset, but I feel we’re in a decent place. We’re still learning but we’re making good progress and I’m pleased with the direction in which we’re going.

“While I clearly want to be winning races, my goal, ultimately, is to fight for the title, and having taken points away from the championship leader at Snetterton – which historically has not been my best track – now we need to try to do the same at Thruxton.”

Speedworks Motorsport Team Principal Christian Dick is hoping that Cook can deliver on his first outing at Thruxton in Toyota machinery, to add to the team’s two wins claimed at the circuit in 2020.

“We always enjoy going to Thruxton,” said Dick. “It’s a circuit where we have traditionally performed well and achieved good results, but this year, we’re returning with a real ace up our sleeve – our ‘secret weapon’, so to speak.

“The success that Josh has had at his home track is nothing short of phenomenal – he has been on the podium there in more than a third of the races he has contested, winning ten of them, and in a series as fiercely competitive as the BTCC, that is an outstanding statistic.

“It goes without saying that we hope for more of the same this weekend, and with Josh and Aiden [Moffat] having pocketed five podium finishes so far this season, confidence is high.

“They say fortune favours the brave, which is certainly the case at Thruxton, and there aren’t many braver BTCC drivers than Aiden. He is going from strength-to-strength as he gets increasingly comfortable in the Toyota, and he is really beginning to fulfil his potential, which is great to see.

“We know from past experience that the Corolla is a competitive package at Thruxton, and we’re all fully focussed on hitting the ground running right from the word ‘go’ to give ourselves the best possible chance of continuing our excellent start to 2024.”

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