Photo: PSP Images

Josh Cook secures early advantage after dramatic season opener

Josh Cook leads the way in the BTCC standings following a dramatic opening weekend of the season at Brands Hatch – despite admitting to there still being “niggles” with his new BTC Racing Honda.

Cook stormed to victory in the opening race of the weekend at the wheel of his new Civic Type R having taken the decision to run on slick tyres in the mixed conditions, and then followed it up with a solid seventh on the soft tyre in race two.

A top four finish in race three means he holds a slender lead over Motorbase racer Tom Chilton, despite him losing his victory in the final race of the weekend for a clash with Matt Neal.

“To come away from Brands Hatch with a race win and the championship lead is fantastic after the issues we had on Saturday is great,” said Cook, who had missed much of FP2 with an electrical issue. “It might have been a different story if race one had been dry, but that wasn’t a gamble on tyres for me as the circuit was dry and the others got it wrong going with wets.

“We’ve shown strong pace throughout all three races and whilst we still have some things to sort out ahead of Donington Park, it’ll be nice to go there as the championship leader for the first time.”