Drivers using Cobra seats continued to take all the wins (and all the “seconds”) to continue a remarkable start to the season for the “Cobra boys” who have now claimed top step on the podium in all nine BTCC races so far in 2022.
Fastest in qualifying, Josh Cook took advantage of pole position to win both of the opening two races in his Rich Energy BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R to propel himself to the top of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Drivers’ Standings. Results that also took Cook to a record breaking nine BTCC wins at Thruxton.
The third race of the day was won by Adam Morgan in his Car Gods with Cicely Motorsport BMW 330e M sport.
In a relatively uneventful day by BTCC standards, Jake Hill – another driver using Cobra seats – recorded the second fastest time in practice and then finished second in both of the opening races in his ROKiT MB Motorsport’s BMW 330e M Sport, In both cases Hill briefly took the race lead only to relinquish it to audacious fight backs by Cook.
In race one Cook retook the lead at the first chicane on the opening lap, but his race two manoeuvre around the outside of Hill at Club was hailed as the ‘move of the season so far’ by ITV commentator Tim Harvey.
Even the reverse grid draw for race three saw a driver using a Cobra seat take pole position, but any hopes that Jason Plato had of adding to his record of most ever wins in the BTCC were seemingly extinguished when the two times BTCC Drivers Champion found his Rich Energy BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R bogged down on the grid and, with too much wheelspin, dropped immediately to fifth: Morgan immediately surged past and in to the lead, closely followed by Team BMW’s Colin Turkington.
However, you don’t win 97 BTCC races without showing fight and by lap ten Plato was back in the mix for a podium – or even a win - before he ran deep on to the grass at Church Corner, forcing him to pit to have grass removed from his radiator.
As the first three drivers - Morgan, Turkington and Sutton - bunched up on the final lap, Dan Rowbottom was doing a sterling job in his Halfords Racing with Cataclean Honda Civic Type R to fend off Josh Cook’s Honda and Tom Ingram’s Bristol Street Motors with Trade Price Cars.com Excelr8 Hyundai i30N and claim fourth position to add to his points haul from claiming fifth position in the first two races of the day.
Dan’s teammate Gordon Shedden was looking a comfortable seventh when his car ground to a halt on the penultimate lap with either engine or turbo failure.
It’s still early days of course, but after nine races, Josh Cook tops the Drivers’ Standings on 139 points, 23 points ahead of Ash Sutton, with Colin Turkington just four points further back (following two fourth places and a second place at Thruxton) and Tom Ingram just one point behind Colin with Jake Hill also hot on their heels!