BTCC Donington Park: First pole for Vauxhall man Cook in the wet

Josh Cook has taken his maiden British Touring Car Championship pole position after heading a dramatic half-hour shootout at Donington Park in his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra

BTCC Donington Park: First pole for Vauxhall man Cook in the wet

The Bath racer grabbed the top slot on the very last lap after a truncated, damp session, which had been halted with five minutes to go as Aiden Moffat's Mercedes-Benz A-Class ran into the gravel on the exit of the chicane when its upright broke.

The rain abated slightly as the cars readied themselves to rejoin the circuit.

The first to eclipse Sam Tordoff's benchmark was Chris Smiley in his BTC Norlin Honda Civic.

Smiley held on until the the very last lap, when Cook sealed his first pole to outshine the Civic driver by 0.030s.

The 26-year-old Cook, who has yet to win a race in the championship, said: "It was certainly lively in that last dash - the stoppage made it interesting and made the heart rate go up a bit.

"I am delighted for myself and for the team, but this is only 50% of the job. We have to convert it into results tomorrow."


Northern Irishman Smiley, despite beating his previous best qualifying result of 16th spot, said he felt slightly let down.

"I am disappointed," he said.

"While I was on my fastest lap I could see that I was 0.3s up on the delta, but I took slightly too much speed into Coppice and that cost me pace all the way down the back straight."

Early pacesetter Tordoff was relegated to third place but said he was pleased with the improvements that had been made to his Motorbase Ford Focus over the morning sessions.

He will share the second row with the factory-backed Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R of series rookie Dan Cammish.

Moffat, who had been fastest over the opening part of the session, dropped to fifth and he will start alongside Jack Goff in the Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R, who took his 66kg of success ballast to sixth spot.

Colin Turkington was the highest qualifying works BMW 125i M Sport in 11th spot after a late burst, although his WSR team-mate Andrew Jordan, who had lost time in the morning with a turbo problem, had a repetition in the afternoon and was restricted to 30th.

Points leader coming into the round, Tom Ingram, could only manage 16th spot in his fully ballasted Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis, just ahead of Matt Neal's Team Dynamics Civic.

Reigning champion Ash Sutton only joined the session after 14 minutes as the BMR squad had performed an engine change between free practice two and qualifying.

He was only able to compete five laps, but set the 22nd best time to finish directly behind his Subaru Levorg team-mate Jason Plato.

Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Josh Cook Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 1m19.816s
2 Chris Smiley BTC Norlin Honda 0.030s
3 Sam Tordoff Motorbase Ford 0.167s
4 Dan Cammish Team Dynamics Honda 0.279s
5 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Mercedes 0.495s
6 Jack Goff Eurotech Racing Honda 0.522s
7 James Nash BTC Norlin Honda 0.522s
8 Tom Chilton Motorbase Ford 0.580s
9 Brett Smith Eurotech Racing Honda 0.665s
10 Tom Oliphant Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 0.704s
11 Colin Turkington WSR BMW 0.764s
12 James Cole Motorbase Ford 0.799s
13 Adam Morgan Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 0.801s
14 Matt Simpson Eurotech Racing Honda 0.849s
15 Senna Proctor Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 0.869s
16 Tom Ingram Speedworks Toyota 0.902s
17 Matt Neal Team Dynamics Honda 0.911s
18 Sam Smelt AmD Tuning Audi 1.092s
19 Rory Butcher AmD Tuning MG 1.125s
20 Rob Austin HMS Racing Alfa Romeo 1.165s
21 Jason Plato Team BMR Subaru 1.188s
22 Ash Sutton Team BMR Subaru 1.228s
23 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing BMW 1.510s
24 Bobby Thompson Team Hard Volkswagen 1.517s
25 Rob Collard WSR BMW 1.545s
26 Josh Price Team BMR Subaru 1.580s
27 Ollie Jackson AmD Tuning Audi 1.666s
28 Mike Bushell Team Hard Volkswagen 1.722s
29 Tom Boardman AmD Tuning MG 2.256s
30 Andrew Jordan WSR BMW 2.506s
31 Jake Hill Team Hard Volkswagen -
32 Michael Caine Team Hard Volkswagen -



shares
comments
BTCC Donington Park: Josh Cook fastest in damp practice sessions

Previous article

BTCC Donington Park: Josh Cook fastest in damp practice sessions

Next article

BTCC Donington Park: Cook claims maiden victory

BTCC Donington Park: Cook claims maiden victory
Load comments

About this article

Series BTCC
Drivers Josh Cook
Teams BTC Racing
Author Matt James
The rollercoaster ride of West Surrey Racing's 40 years Plus

The rollercoaster ride of West Surrey Racing's 40 years

It’s four decades since one of UK motorsport’s most successful teams made its debut at Silverstone in British Formula 3. Now it’s top dog in the BTCC, time to blow out some candles with boss Dick Bennetts

BTCC
Mar 12, 2021
Why the BTCC elite should fear Shedden's return Plus

Why the BTCC elite should fear Shedden's return

OPINION: The British Touring Car Championship Lord taketh away Dan Cammish, then giveth Gordon Shedden. That means substituting what would have been a future champion with an all-time series great with a point to prove on his return

BTCC
Mar 11, 2021
The tin-top veteran turned policeman hangs up his helmet Plus

The tin-top veteran turned policeman hangs up his helmet

Jeff Allam had a long and successful touring car career, and was a highly regarded works driver for Rover and Vauxhall. Then he spent his weekends policing his successors… Time to look back at a BTCC life spanning almost 45 years

BTCC
Mar 10, 2021
The BTCC Brexit that's thrived for a decade Plus

The BTCC Brexit that's thrived for a decade

It won't be long until the current BTCC rules become the longest-lasting the series has ever had. The NGTC regulations are due to celebrate their tenth birthday this year and while not totally perfect for everyone, have been a huge success

BTCC
Feb 24, 2021
The top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020 Plus

The top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020

The 2020 British Touring Car Championship will go down as a classic in which new winners graced the top step of the podium and an unloved chassis was resurrected into a champion. But who were the year's top performers?

BTCC
Dec 24, 2020
The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020 Plus

The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020

The Infiniti Q50 was completely redesigned, redeveloped and revamped by BMR and Laser Tools Racing for 2020. And the flamboyant brilliance of the driver behind the wheel was enough to snatch the title at the last gasp

BTCC
Dec 11, 2020
The BMW game-changer that monopolised the tin-top world Plus

The BMW game-changer that monopolised the tin-top world

The rival Ford RS500 was more spectacular and almost claimed its place as Autosport's greatest touring car. But the original BMW M3 E30 was too good and too important to be ignored, as its drivers explain

BTCC
Dec 1, 2020
Turkington meets Rouse: The BTCC's greatest in conversation Plus

Turkington meets Rouse: The BTCC's greatest in conversation

The two four-time British Touring Car champions discovered they had far more in common than they realised when Autosport brought them together to discuss all things tin-top for its 70th anniversary special earlier this year

BTCC
Nov 25, 2020