Photo: BTCC / Jakob Ebrey

Josh Cook has “no regrets” over “going for glory”

Josh Cook insisted he had no regrets over putting his bid for the overall title over the Independents’ crown after missing out on the Indy title by just two points during the BTCC season finale at Brands Hatch.

The BTC Racing driver was one of the five drivers who stood a chance of overall honours going into the season finale, and held a 22 point lead over Rory Butcher in the Independents’ standings after the Cobra Sport AmD man endured a tough weekend at Silverstone.

Cook qualified in a strong eighth place for the opening race of the weekend but saw his overall chances ended by a fuel pressure issue that forced him to retire – and also saw Butcher close to within five points of the Independents’ lead.

A 13th place finish in race two meant Cook lead Butcher by a single point going into race three, and a storming start saw him rocket through the field to close onto the rear of his fellow Honda driver – with the pair together in the podium places by the fourth lap.

However, the performance of Cook’s soft tyres would drop away as the race went on and he would slip back to fifth place at the finish, with the class win for Butcher securing the Independents’ title by just two points.

“I threw everything I had – and a bit more – at that final race but it just wasn’t to be,” Cook admitted. “I had the pace to get to Rory but I knew I only had a few laps to try and get ahead of him. He defended well and then my tyres dropped off and that was that; it just wasn’t our day.

“You can always wonder if you would have done things differently, but what we have done has been mega this season. We rocked up at the opening rounds and won when no-one expected us to, and have never been lower than fourth in the overall championship. We could have focused on the Independent title and maybe we would have won it, but we went all out for glory and I don’t regret that decision at all.

“We can walk away with our heads held high this season as we have won more races than the factory Hondas, have had loads of podium finishes and that is without any real testing. I can’t thank Steve [Dudman], Bert and Ben [Taylor] enough and it’s been a pleasure to work with Chris [Smiley]. Now we can all go into the winter and recover from what has been a tough and hard-fought year.”