Josh Cook holds on to grab second Brands Hatch victory
Josh Cook saw off race long pressure from his BTCC rivals behind to grab a second victory of the weekend in race two at Brands Hatch.
Cook started from pole with the whole grid on wet tyres as a result of the continuing drizzle at the Kent circuit, with Adam Morgan the only driver not able to take the start due to an unspecified technical issue on his BMW – which had been due to start sixth.
Despite the best efforts of a charging Jake Hill when the lights went out, Cook was able to retain his lead through the opening lap, with chaos in the middle of the pack seeing Ash Hand, Dan Rowbottom, Aiden Moffat, Dexter Patterson and Michael Crees get tangled into turn one – leading to Patterson, Rowbottom and Hand coming back in to retire.
Cook would lead Hill through the early stages of the race with Rory Butcher, Dan Cammish and Tom Ingram behind; Ingram having briefly got ahead of Butcher only for the two drivers to nip ahead at Druids.
Butcher launched a bid for second on Hill at Paddock Hill Bend only for Hill and then Cammish to sneak back through at Druids to demote the Toyota to fourth, with Hill and Cammish then chasing down Cook at the front.
Cook was fending off his rivals before Hill suffered a spin at Druids two laps from the end which allowed Cammish through into second and although he closed onto the rear of Cook’s Honda, the BTC Racing man held on to become the first double winner of the campaign.
Butcher rounded out the podium ahead of Ash Sutton, who had fought his way through the pack to run sixth heading into the final two laps. When Ingram was forced to back off as Hill rejoined ahead, the defending champion nipped ahead of Ingram’s Hyundai into Druids as the pair also cleared Hill, leading Ingram to finish in fifth and Gordon Shedden rounding out the top six.
Hill crossed the line in seventh spot ahead of Dan Lloyd, George Gamble and Colin Turkington.
Turkington had been involved in a huge fight with Sutton for a large part of the race but struggled for pace in his BMW as the race wore on, with Bobby Thompson and Tom Chilton behind. Chilton will now start race three from pole in his Hyundai.