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Donington BTCC: Josh cooks up a debut pole

Saturday, April 28 2018

Josh Cook has taken a dramatic pole position at Donington Park today (28 April), his first ever in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

The Power Maxed TAG Racing star left it until the final moments to complete a magical lap in tricky wet conditions as his Vauxhall Astra reproduced the pace it had already shown throughout practice.

Chris Smiley had also starred earlier in the day and he looked set to claim his own maiden pole position until being squeezed out by Cook, but the BTC Norlin Racing man still secured a career-best second on the grid.

Cook and Smiley's last ditch efforts forced long-time leader Sam Tordoff down to third, although the Team GardX Racing with Motorbase driver can be pleased with his performance in the Ford Focus RS.

BTCC new boy Dan Cammish also waited until the final minutes to show his hand as the Halfords Yuasa Racing rookie hauled his Honda Civic Type R up to fourth, ahead of Laser Tools Racing's Aiden Moffat.

Scotsman Moffat showed impressive speed during the 30-minute session but his run came to an unexpected early finish when front-right suspension damage after clouting the kerbs at the final chicane saw his Mercedes slide straight on and into the gravel trap, his car eventually coming to a halt after nudging into the barrier.

A brief stoppage to the session followed to remove Moffat's striken A-Class, with the aforementioned drama ensuing after the restart.

Brands Hatch race-winner Jack Goff took sixth in his ballast-laden WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda as he incredibly set the exact same lap time as series returnee James Nash. The latter had to settle for seventh but it still completed a fantastic and emotional day for the BTC Norlin Racing squad and its Team Principal Bert Taylor.

Tom Chilton made it two Fords in the top eight, whilst Brett Smith continued his eye-catching progress in the BTCC with ninth.

Tom Oliphant completed the top ten as the young talent showed great car control in his Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes, out-pacing his more experienced team-mate Adam Morgan in the process.

A host of household names failed to trouble the top ten, including the likes of Tom Ingram (16th), Matt Neal (17th), Rob Austin (20th), Jason Plato (21st), Ash Sutton (22nd), Rob Collard (25th) and Andrew Jordan (30th), whilst double champ Colin Turkington did well to wrestle his tricky handling BMW up to 11th.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship - Qualifying top-10 - Donington Park
 
1 Josh COOK, Power Maxed TAG Racing 1m19.816s (89.26mph)
2 Chris SMILEY, BTC Norlin Racing +0.030s
3 Sam TORDOFF, Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +0.167s
4 Dan CAMMISH, Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.279s
5 Aiden MOFFAT, Laser Tools Racing +0.495s
6 Jack GOFF, WIX Racing with Eurotech +0.522s
7 James NASH, BTC Norlin Racing +0.522s
8 Tom CHILTON, Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.580s
9 Brett SMITH, WIX Racing with Eurotech +0.665s
10 Tom OLIPHANT, Ciceley Motorsport +0.704s

Tickets for the BTCC at Donington Park tomorrow are available on the gate, priced at £34 for adults and £20 for teenagers aged 13-15. Senior citizen tickets are priced at £26, with free entry for children aged under 13. For more information click here. 
Story and image courtesy of BTCC.net