Cook takes BTCC first practice honours for MG

Cook was quickest for MG (Photo by Marc Waller)

Cook was quickest for MG (Photo by Marc Waller)Josh Cook of MG racing has taken first honours in the opening BTCC practice session here at Donington Park.

Cook, who went well here last year in the Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet set his best time on the final lap of the session as the track conditions improved from damp to dry as the session progressed.

Cook had been a front runner the entire session rising to the top part way through the session and from then on kept improving his time. He was the only driver to break into the 1:10 bracket (1:10.985) and he was just 0.045 seconds ahead of the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda of Gordon Shedden. Mat Jackson was next up in third with the impressive Aron Smith fractions of a seconds behind him in the impressive new BKR team running the Ex BMR VW CC.

Colin Turkington gave the BMR Subaru team some cheer with their first top ten position of the season. The rest of the team didn’t do so well with Plato in seventeenth and the other two cars of Scott and Cole down in 23rd and 25th.

thumb gw160416a2Ollie Jacksonwas sideways but in the top half of the field (Photo by Marc Waller)BTCC action  (Photo by Marc Waller)BTCC action  (Photo by Marc Waller)BTCC action  (Photo by Marc Waller)Matt Neal put the second works Honda in sixth with there now only being two works cars after the withdrawl of Andy Neate. Neate stated personal reasons for his withdrawl but Honda lose the entry licence for that car which means there is no chance of them putting another driver in the car. The licence has been allocated to another team and there will be an announcement before Thruxton on who and what will take up the place. This means there are 31 cars entered here at Donington.

Andrew Jordan was seventh, he’ll be hoping for a strong result at his local circuit. Jake Hill was an excellent eighth in his Toyota Avensis for RCIB Insurance racing (Team Hard). Ashley Sutton took ninth in the other MG ahead of Rob Collard, in the first of the WSR BMW’s. Tom Ingram was eleventh in the Speedworks Toyota ahead of Adam Morgan and Aiden Moffatt in the Wix and Laser tools racing Mercedes.

Martin Depper ended up fourteenth despite going off at the old hairpin causing a red flag. Both Eurotech cars went off on alternate laps and were deemed to be causing a hazard and so the session was stopped to retrieve them. Ollie Jackson was fifteenth for AMD Tuning in his Audi A3 with Jeff Smith sixteenth in the other Eurotech Honda having earlier run in the top ten.

A second red flag was caused late in the session by Matt Simpson’s Honda and Mark Howard’s VW getting stranded in the gravel.
Kelvin Fletcher was twenty ninth ahead of his Power Maxed team mate Hunter Abbott with the team seemingly struggling for pace. Rob Austin had a nightmare session for Handy with vibration issues meaning he never set a timed lap.

Full session times are available from TSL timingBy Marc Waller

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