BTCC Thruxton: Cook charges to dominant first victory of the day

The ‘King of Thruxton’ secured a dominant victory after an exciting Thruxton race for Round 16 of the British Touring Car Championship.

Yesterday, Dan Rowbottom put himself on the grid’s top spot for the second time this season.

It was a 16-lap brawl in pursuit to fend off Jake Hill in second, and the so-called ‘King of Thruxton’ Josh Cook.

At lights out, Cook asserted a strong getaway eventually going side-by-side on Rowbottom to take the lead after the first corner.

The Team Dynamics driver had a difficult start dropping down to fourth and soon afterwards into sixth.

During the opening laps, Hill attempted to fend off Tom Oliphant’s BMW 330i M Sport at the chicane with the saloon better suited to the high speed complexes at Thruxton.

Lap 3 marked a setback for Dan LLoyd who had his best qualifying performance this season when he received a 5s time penalty for being out of position at the start grid.

Josh Cook put sixth-tenths over Jake Hill at the front of the race as Senna Proctor escaped the pressure from Jason Plato and got himself into P9.

Meanwhile, by the fifth lap, it was a 66 kg ballast-stricken Tom Ingram who fended off Jason Plato, situation a duel that stretched right till the end of the race.

Rowbottom’s poor start put him in front of Rory Butcher’s Toyota Corolla GR Sport as the pair fought for sixth place; the Scotsman attempted to make a brave but unsuccessful pass into the chicane.

By Lap 8, Tom Oliphant’s P3 spot looked more secure due to the Rowbottom-Butcher duel that took place over three seconds behind him.

Butcher made it past the Honda Civic Type R, which meant Rowbottom was tasked with keeping Adam Morgan at bay.

The championship leader and therefore the driver with the most ballast, Ash Sutton, was asserting an impressive climb up the field despite the weight.

Sutton got past both Rowbottom and Morgan with ease on the ninth lap to get into fifth.

A tense defence initiated between a ballast-free Rory Butcher against Ash Sutton for P4.

Sutton got close several times onto the Corolla, but was unable to match its corner exit traction.

Further down the field, Ingram had his abilities tested by the veteran Jason Plato who eventually passed him at the chicane.

The two-time champion left the Hyundai driver out to lose two places, before he regained a spot immediately on Colin Turkington.

At the front of the race, Josh Cook took his seventh win at the Thruxton venue with a 1.360s gap over Jake Hill.

Tom Oliphant for Team BMW completed the podium places.

The Butcher and Sutton fight cooled for the final two laps and they finished in fourth and fifth.

Pole-sitter Dan Rowbottom crossed the line in sixth ahead of Adam Morgan, Senna Proctor and Jason Plato.

Tom Ingram rounded off the top-10 as Dan Lloyd was classified 11th with his penalty.

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