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BTCC Race 1: Cook wins first race of the day at Brands Hatch

Sunday, May 15 2022

Josh Cook claimed the 14th victory of his Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship career after prevailing in challenging conditions around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit this afternoon (Sunday) in his Rich Energy BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R.

It initially appeared as though BMW machinery would fight for outright victory as pole-sitter Colin Turkington in the factory Team BMW car and Jake Hill in the ROKiT MB Motorsport satellite entry duked it out for the top position in damp conditions. The majority of the field opted for wet tyres the race commenced with a slippery track surface, and the leading BMWs were no different.

Hill seemed to have an early pace advantage on treaded rubber, but his four-time champion WSR stablemate Turkington was wise to his initial overtaking attempts and held position firmly at the front. After his initial surge, Hill began to fade from his pursuit of the leader, whilst Cook really began to edge towards the front.

Cook executed a strong move on Hill to take second at Paddock Hill Bend before promptly hunting down and dispatching Turkington too. After losing the lead, Northern Ireland's Turkington really began to struggle, dropping down to fifth place, but Hill managed to find a second win and chase once more for the win.

Hill ate rapidly into Cook's lead as the race entered its final stages, but ran wide on the exit at Paddock Hill whilst pushing late on, and that resulted in a small tumble down the order to fourth, just ahead of Turkington. This left Cook free to drive home to the chequered flag and claim victory spoils.

Championship leader Tom Ingram enjoyed a relatively trouble-free run to second on the rostrum in his Hyundai i30N. Ingram came into the race with the minimum amound of hybrid boost as a success penalty for his position in the standings, so the runner-up spot is has to go down as a very impressive result.

A late charger in the race was Rory Butcher who was the only driver on the starting grid to opt to run on slick tyres from the start. After spinning on the warm up lap, and losing ground at the start of the race, the race really came to the Toyota GAZOO Racing UK driver in the latter stages.

As the circuit dried, Butcher really began to fly. And after falling right to the tail of the field, the Toyota racer was hunting the podium runners down as the race entered its final lap. His challenge faltered right at the last though, with a brief slide and detour into the gravel at Clearways. This allowed Dan Cammish to secure his first podium of the season for NAPA Racing UK, whilst Hill and Turkington were able to hold onto fourth and fifth.

Butcher had to settle for seventh, one place behind Adam Morgan's Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW, whilst Gordon Shedden, Ashley Sutton and Daniel Rowbottom completed the top-10l

Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, Race 1, Brands Hatch

1. Josh Cook, Rich Energy BTC Racing, Honda, 24 laps
2. Tom Ingram, Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com, Hyundai, +0.802s
3. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK, Ford, +4.209s
4. Jake Hill, ROKiT MB Motorsport, BMW, +5.037s
5. Colin Turkington, Team BMW, BMW, +7.691s
6. Adam Morgan, Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport, BMW, +10.120s
7. Rory Butcher, Toyota GAZOO Racing, Toyota, +10.848s
8. Gordon Shedden, Halfords Racing with Cataclean, Honda, +11.670s
9. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK, Ford, +12.509s
10. Daniel Rowbottom, Halfords Racing with Cataclean, +14.385s

For full timings and results from this weekend, click here.