Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Josh Cook confident of hitting the ground running

Josh Cook has expressed confidence that his BTC Racing squad can hit the ground running at Donington Park this weekend as he seeks to launch his bid for BTCC silverware.

Cook finished fourth in the standings last year in his first season with the Honda squad, taking three race wins along the way, and is being tipped as one of of the contenders for top honours this time around.

With this season being the first time that Cook has gone into a second season with an unchanged package underneath him, the 29-year-old will hope to build on the knowledge gained of his FK8 Civic Type R last year and start the season strongly.

“I had my first BTCC pole position and win at Donington Park, so it’s always been a good hunting ground for me,” he said. “Historically I’ve qualified up at the front and managed to grab a good points haul there, so I’m glad that we’re coming off a really long break and going to a circuit that I’m most familiar with.

“I do think that every driver will be in the best shape they’ve even been in as we’ve all had such a long time to prepare. I know that I’m in a lot better position mentally and physically then I was in April. I think the delay will benefit my performance this year. We’ve got some great continuity this year, with the team and the car so I feel confident that we can hit the ground running.”

New team-mate Tom Chilton will also hope to challenge at the front of the field and insisted that his focus was firmly on the podium places.

“There’s a famous quote about failing to prepare and you’re preparing to fail,” he said. “That’s the exact opposite of what we have done. We have prepared in every single area. We’ve had a fantastic test programme and I think we’ll be going straight in with our best foot forward. BTC Racing has hired all the right people to do the job. I’m itching to get going and pick up some points at Donington. I’m not going to settle for anything less than a podium this weekend.

“This year has thrown us all a new challenge, but as a human race, we’re always adapting. The team has adapted well to the changes and I think that the championship has done a great job. We’re fully focused and ready to go and win some races.”