Photo: Jakob Ebrey

BTC Racing retain Josh Cook, Michael Crees

BTC Racing has announced that it will retain two of the three drivers it ran this year for the 2021 BTCC season after agreeing terms on new deals with both Josh Cook and Michael Crees.

Cook will be entering his third year with the Honda team – now under the sole ownership of Steve Dudman – looking to fight for championship honours after a tough run of form in the early stages of the campaign saw him drop out of title contention.

Despite that, he recovered to take three race wins and finished the campaign ninth in the championship standings, having finished fourth a year earlier in his first season with the FK8 Honda Civic Type-R.

“I am very happy to be part of BTC Racing again for 2021,” he said. “This will be my third season with the team and I’ve known a number of the crew since I joined, so I’m looking forward to working with them all again. I am equally delighted to be working with Michael again – he is a great team-mate. We work really well together and plan to push even harder in 2021.

“We had a difficult start to 2020 but we hit the second half of the year with three wins, multiple fastest laps and a pole position – we were back where we should have been. With the new management structure recently announced at BTC Racing, we are all even more determined to keep pushing forwards. Finally, a huge thank you to Steve Dudman for his continued support. I cannot wait to get back out in the car and get started.”

Crees meanwhile will embark on his third season in the series as the reigning Jack Sears Trophy champion on the back of a solid campaign that saw him regularly challenge for points – finishing inside the top 15 in just under half of the races run and taking twelve JST wins.

“I’m super excited to be staying with BTC Racing and competing in the BTCC again next season,” he said. “I would like to start by saying a huge thank you to my partners for coming together and making the deal happen and, of course, team principal Steve Dudman for his on-going support. It makes absolute sense for us to continue to work together to develop the team.

“At this point, I would like to also say a big thank you to my team-mate Josh Cook, who really brought me on this year; I have learnt so much from him, which massively developed me as a driver. I am buzzing and really looking forward to racing the same car for a second season, for the first time in my career. I would also like to say thank you to all of my sponsors and fans who have supported me along the way.”

BTC had already announced plans to run three cars again in 2021, with the third driver still to be confirmed.

“It really is fantastic to be able to announce that Josh and Michael are remaining with BTC Racing for the 2021 season in the BTCC,” team principal Dudman said. “Everyone knows Josh’s credentials as a multiple race-winner in touring cars, and we are all confident he will be able to mount a genuine challenge for the outright BTCC crown, as well as the Independents’ Trophy title.

“Michael really did come of age as a driver last year in his first season with us at BTC Racing and, when you consider he only started racing cars in 2017, his progress has been outstanding. Winning the Jack Sears Trophy was a great achievement and the target next year will certainly be for him to score regular overall points finishes and challenge for the outright top ten.”