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Josh Cook scythes through field on way to race two win

A scintillating opening lap saw Speedworks Motorsport’s Josh Cook claim victory in the second British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Oulton Park, passing eight cars on the first tour.

Race one winner Tom Ingram lined up on pole, with Cook starting back on the fourth row of the grid – but as one of the best-placed drivers starting on the soft tyre.

At the start, Ingram held the lead but behind him there was chaos, as Árón Taylor-Smith dived inside Tom Chilton at the first corner. Chilton, in turn, went inside Adam Morgan, and the Hyundai and BMW made contact, spinning Morgan in front of the field.

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Miraculously, no one hit the stricken BMW, and Morgan continued at the back of the pack.

Cook, meanwhile, went around the outside of Laser Tools Racing’s Jake Hill at the hairpin, and then passed NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish and Ash Sutton over hilltop, putting him into second.

Cook completed a perfect opening lap by passing Ingram for the lead into Lodge with ease, as the hard tyre-shod EXCELR8 Motorsport driver didn’t put up a fight with the Toyota.

Thereafter, Cook breezed to a first win in almost two years by a comfortable margin of over eight seconds, with Ingram following up his earlier win with second.

Hill completed the podium, having powered past NAPA’s Cammish over hilltop on the final lap, with Cammish claiming fourth.

Erstwhile points leader Ash Sutton had held third early on, but like team-mate Daniel Rowbottom in race one he suffered from a flapping right-rear wheel arch.

Unlike Rowbottom, Sutton’s damage came earlier in the race and he was shown the feared black-and-orange flag, requiring him to pit to have the offending bodywork removed – but not before team-mate Cammish had drawn alongside in an ill-fated attempt to knock it off.

Sutton emerged from the pits down in 16th and ultimately failed to score a point for the second time this year.

Despite being involved in the first corner antics, Power Maxed Racing’s Taylor-Smith wasn’t held up much and finished in fifth, ahead of team-mate Mikey Doble in sixth, with both drivers benefiting in the early laps from running soft tyres.

Team BMW’s Colin Turkington also ran the softs and completed a strong drive from the back of the grid to seventh, following Restart Racing’s Chris Smiley past Toyota’s Rob Huff on lap 12 before passing Smiley for seventh two laps later into the chicane.

Smiley scored his first top ten result since returning to the BTCC with eighth, whilst the top ten was completed by NAPA’s Rowbottom and Toyota’s Andrew Watson.

Unlimited Motorsport’s Daryl DeLeon, got past Huff in the closing laps, but was handed a two-second time penalty after the race for gaining an unfair advantage in the process, dropping him to 12th, taking away a career best-equalling result.

Huff was thus promoted to 11th after dropping from a high of seventh in the final laps.

The only retirements of the race were EXCELR8’s Tom Chilton, who stopped with smoke coming from his car on lap eight, and Speedworks’ Aiden Moffat, who returned to the pits with an issue on lap four.

The reverse-grid draw will see the top six reversed for the final race, giving Power Maxed Racing the front row and putting Doble on pole with team-mate Taylor-Smith alongside.

Ingram has now assumed the championship lead with 194 points, ahead of Hill (190) and Sutton (186).

Race three is scheduled to begin at 17:25 BST.

Revised race result

1 66 M Josh COOK LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ Toyota Corolla GR Sport 15 21:52.594 1:26.058 8
2 80 M Tom INGRAM BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 N Fastback 15 8.016 1:26.729 1
3 24 M Jake HILL Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport 15 9.879 1:26.877 5
4 27 M Dan CAMMISH NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 15 10.430 1:26.488 3
5 40 I Árón TAYLOR-SMITH Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 15 10.856 1:26.530 7
6 88 I Mikey DOBLE Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 15 11.452 1:26.333 11
7 20 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport 15 12.197 1:26.547 20
8 222 I Chris SMILEY Restart Racing CUPRA Leon 15 13.420 1:26.200 13
9 32 M Daniel ROWBOTTOM NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 15 14.705 1:27.047 15
10 11 M Andrew WATSON TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK Toyota Corolla GR Sport 15 18.972 1:26.623 14
11 12 M Rob HUFF TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK Toyota Corolla GR Sport 15 19.896 1:26.440 10
12 18 I Daryl DELEON Duckhams Racing with Bartercard CUPRA Leon 15 20.084 1:26.493 18
13 14 M Ronan PEARSON BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 N Fastback 15 27.111 1:26.891 12
14 29 I Scott SUMPTON Restart Racing CUPRA Leon 15 29.567 1:27.107 19
15 77 M Sam OSBORNE NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 15 33.011 1:26.352 16
16 1 M Ashley SUTTON NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 15 46.548 1:26.932 2
17 33 M Adam MORGAN Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport 15 58.564 1:26.784 4
18 22 M Nick HALSTEAD BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 N Fastback 15 1:07.413 1:28.919 17
R 3 M Tom CHILTON BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 N Fastback 7 DNF 1:26.754 6
R 16 M Aiden MOFFAT LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ Toyota Corolla GR Sport 3 DNF 1:37.051 9
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