Three fantastic BTCC races wow the crowds at Thruxton
Josh Cook moved to the summit of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Drivers’ Standings after scoring his second successive double victory, whilst Adam Morgan triumphed in the finale at Thruxton earlier today (29 May).
The results also represented significant milestones for both Cook and Morgan as the former became the most successful driver of all time at the 2.36-mile circuit with his eighth and ninth victories at the Hampshire venue, whilst the latter contested his 300th BTCC race in the second bout before his impressive race three win.
Reigning champion Ash Sutton claimed a podium hat-trick on the day as he quietly moved into second in the table, whilst there were also silverware celebrations for WSR stablemates Jake Hill and Colin Turkington.
Rich Energy BTC Racing’s Cook relinquished the lead to ROKiT MB Motorsport’s Hill in each of the first two races, but the 30-year-old quickly retook the top spot in both with a couple of eye-catching passes.
Cook’s impressive race one manoeuvre was made at the first chicane on the opening tour, but his race two blast around the outside of Hill at Club was labelled the ‘move of the season so far’ by ITV commentator and former BTCC champion Tim Harvey.
The duo remained inseparable for the remainder of both bouts, whilst NAPA Racing UK’s Sutton completed the rostrum in each.
It was all change in the finale, however, as Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport’s Morgan boosted his own title hopes with a popular win.
Jason Plato’s Rich Energy BTC Racing Honda bogged down from pole position and Morgan immediately surged past, taking Team BMW’s Turkington and Sutton’s Ford Focus with him.
Plato was back in the hunt for a podium – or even victory – by mid-distance as the leading quartet pulled away from the chasing pack. A slight scrape with Sutton going into the final chicane hampered Plato’s chances of scoring a 98th career win, and a few laps later his hopes were completely dashed when he ran off track on the exit of Church – the fastest corner in the country.
The top three ran bumper-to-bumper until the finish with Sutton even showing his nose alongside the #50 BMW of Turkington going into the final chicane, but the positions remained unchanged as Morgan sped home for the 11th victory of his BTCC career so far.
A special mention for Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Daniel Rowbottom, who finished fourth following his double top-five earlier in the day.
Cook claimed a top-five finish as he ended the day 23 points ahead of Sutton in the overall standings, with Turkington a further four points in arrears. Unsurprisingly, Cook and his Rich Energy BTC Racing squad also leads the Independents’ honours.
BMW heads the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ order, whilst Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com held onto its slender advantage in the Teams’ table as drivers Tom Ingram and Daniel Lloyd fought hard throughout the day.
Bobby Thompson tops the Jack Sears Trophy although Ash Hand claimed honours on the day as his CarStore Power Maxed Racing team enjoyed its most competitive outing of the season so far.
Hill heads the Goodyear Wingfoot Award, which is his reward after his third successive front-row qualifying result.
Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place at Oulton Park on 11/12 June.
Josh Cook said: “I’m really pleased I managed to bring it home for another double race win, mega proud of the team. We needed solid points and we’ve had a great haul this weekend and at Brands Hatch, so that’s another box ticked. But as quickly as you can be propelled to the top, it can go the other way. For us, it’s a case of making hay while the sun shines and then on the bad weekends just making sure we dig deep and score some decent points. All we can do is concentrate on the job in hand, make sure we get the car in that sweet spot, that I’m doing everything that I can do without any mistakes, extract what we can from the car and see where we end up.”
Adam Morgan said: “We really struggled yesterday, we just didn’t have the pace in the car for qualifying, but we’ve turned it around and we’re at the top spot. We really worked at it, threw something at the car today, got in the car for race one and it was like a different car altogether. It’s a mega day for everyone, this is one that I won’t forget. There’s no reason this car can’t keep up with everybody else and be at the front. I say it every year, but I’ve got a really positive feeling about this year and having George [Gamble] on board has really helped that as well. So, we’re looking forward to it, we’re looking forward to the fight.”
Ash Sutton said: “We started the day with a little bit of work to do, though the car wasn’t in a bad place. If I’m honest, a change overnight did the opposite of what we wanted to do, which is why we were a bit of a cork in a bottle for race one, so I was pleased we reverted that issue. Then in race three I just felt at one with the car, it was really good, and another podium! If we can roll over what we’ve been learning over the weekend and coming into the weekend then we’ll be going in the right direction. And I am looking forward to Oulton Park, it’s attacking, it’s my style, so hopefully we can get the car dialled in!”
Jake Hill said: “I had some great races. I played the patient game in race one and obviously managed to stay with Cook and put him under pressure but he didn’t make any mistakes. That was frustrating but, nevertheless, a great start to the day. Then in race two he played his cards right again and got it done so fair play to him. There was no contact and it was another good race between us. I’m really pleased with the points and ROKIT MB Motorsport has given me another fantastic BMW to pull this double podium off, it was brilliant.”
Colin Turkington said: “It’s been a really good day at Thruxton. Solid points and nice to get on the podium. I maybe just didn’t have the ultimate pace to win a race, but I was good enough for three top-fives and that’s what’s important at this stage of the championship. Just to keep scoring strongly. I know my day will come, when we go to Oulton, Croft, Knockhill, all good territory for the BMW 330e. But I’m happy with today. I’m always a bit anxious coming into Thruxton because it’s tough for us to get a result, but it’s been a really good day for BMW I’d say.”
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Thruxton
1. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing 16 laps
2. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +0.900s
3. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +8.957s
4. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +9.400s
5. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +9.816s
6. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +10.208s
7. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +14.615s
8. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +15.032s
9. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +15.625s
10. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +18.254s
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 2 – Thruxton
1. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing 16 laps
2. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +0.487s
3. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +3.067s
4. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +3.717s
5. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +7.806s
6. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +8.763s
7. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +10.488s
8. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +15.424s
9. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +15.735s
10. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +19.736s
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 3 – Thruxton
1. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport 17 laps
2. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.599s
3. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +1.003s
4. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +3.787s
5. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +4.535s
6. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +4.744s
7. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +7.884s
8. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +8.168s
9. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +8.638s
10. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +15.793s