Dry tyres for BTCC opener a 'no brainer', says victor Josh Cook

BTC Racing driver Josh Cook says the tyre gamble that helped him to win the first British Touring Car Championship race of 2019 at Brands Hatch was a "no-brainer"

Dry tyres for BTCC opener a 'no brainer', says victor Josh Cook

A greasy Indy circuit meant the top nine cars all switched to wet tyres on the grid, whereas Cook remained on slicks and rose from 10th to score his third series victory as a result.

A cautious start meant Cook dropped as low as 18th before the leading cars wore out their wet tyres and Cook climbed from 12th to pass race leader Ashley Sutton in four laps.

But the Honda Civic Type R driver played down his drive.

"There was no magic involved," Cook told Autosport. "It was just the right tyre choice. "We've not had a lot of running on this new wet tyre, but from the running we have had we've seen they don't like the drier conditions."

In the second race on the Indy circuit at last season's opening round, similar circumstances allowed Senna Proctor to take a surprise win on slicks.

Cook, Proctor's then Power Maxed Racing team-mate, struggled to 15th in his Vauxhall Astra. He was surprised more front runners had not learned from that experience.

"The safe bet was always going to be wets, I'm just surprised more people didn't go slicks to be honest.

"For me the margin was a lot closer than it was last year when the same thing happened. It was a no brainer."

Jake Hill, who finished second in both the 2018 and 2019 weather-affected races, added that it was "silly" that drivers repeated last year's mistake.

"It's great for my first race with the team to stick it on the podium," he said.

"We were quite lucky to be on the soft tyre as well, it just switched on early enough.

"Twelve months ago exactly the same thing happened so to do it again is a bit silly of the others not to go for it.

"I was going round on the out-lap thinking 'this is exactly the same' [as last season]."

Cook and Hill will start race two from the front row - the Civic driver carrying the maximum 54kg of success ballast and Hill's Audi S3 laden with 48kg.

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BTCC Brands Hatch: Cook takes spectacular win after slicks gamble
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