BTCC: Cook charges to fifth Thruxton victory at season opener

BTC Racing’s Josh Cook charged to his fifth Thruxton win of nine attendances at the opening race of the 2021 British Touring Car Championship.

BTC Racing’s Josh Cook drove a fantastic race to hold off his charging opposition from start to finish in the first round of the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton.

He was able to capitalise on the contact in front of him and pull away from lap 1 to come home with the victory.

BTCC fans have been patiently waiting for the start of the new season, and the first round certainly didn’t disappoint. With crashes and door-to-door racing everywhere you look, the action was non-stop all morning.

A returning Jason Plato started his 600th BTCC race, and Rory Butcher his 100th.

Thruxton is the UK’s fastest racing circuit, and with the cars having never been tested in actual race conditions, there were bound to be teething problems for some teams. Surprisingly though, two of the most recognisable faces and names in the BTCC, Ash Sutton and Colin Turkington had a controversial coming together.

Reigning Champion and race one pole sitter, Ash Stutton in his Infiniti Q50 made a good get away originally. However, coming out of the last section of the chicane on lap one he would be nudged and spun by four time champion Colin Turkington.

This would send the young Brit to the very back of the field with all of the hard work to do to try and scavenge some points back.

Turkington received a 17s time post-race penalty due to the contact with Sutton which dropped him from fourth in the classification, back down to tenth.

Controversy about the length of the penalty is being argued across the paddock as well as social media, with engineers and home engineers both critiquing the stewards decisions publicly.

A returning face to the BTCC, Gordon Shedden had a big crash coming onto the main back straight.

The ex-BTCC champion was all over the back of Ollie Jackson coming out of the first set of corners and just tagged his rear bumper sending Sheddon spinning across the circuit.

He would be T-boned by Chris Smiley and sent into the opposite tyre barrier where his race would come to an abrupt end.

Thankfully all drivers involved where unhurt and walked away from the scene of the accident.

The safety car would be bought out for the first time, turning the remaining laps into a fighting frenzy for track position.

Position Driver Team
1 Josh Cook BTC Racing
2 Tom Ingram
EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars
3 Jake Hill
MB Motorsport (C)
4 Dan Cammish BTC Racing
5 Rory Butcher
Toyota GAZOO Racing UK (C)
6 Jason Plato
Power Maxed Racing
7 Daniel Rowbottom Team Dynamics
8 Adam Morgan
Ciceley Motorsport
9 Ash Sutton
Laser Tools Racing
10 Colin Turkington (P4 to P10 w/ +17s penalty) Team BMW (C)
11 Aiden Moffat
Laser Tools Racing
12 Carl Boardley
Laser Tools Racing
13 Jack Goff Team HARD
14 Tom Chilton
Ciceley Motorsport
15 Tom Oliphant Team BMW (C)
16 Dan Lloyd
Power Maxed Racing
17 Sam Osborne
Motorbase Performance (C)
18 Árón Taylor-Smith Team HARD
19 Ollie Jackson
MB Motorsport (C)
20 Jade Edwards BTC Racing
21 Jack Butel
EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars
22 Glynn Geddie Team HARD
23 Sam Smelt
Toyota GAZOO Racing UK (C)
24 Andy Neate
Motorbase Performance (C)
25 Rick Parfitt Jr.
EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars
26 Nicolas Hamilton Team HARD
27 Stephen Jelley (DNF) Team BMW (C)
28 Gordon Shedden (DNF) Team Dynamics
29 Chris Smiley (DNF)
EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars