Josh Cook managed two safety car restarts to win the third and final race of the day at Thruxton from Rory Butcher and Ashley Sutton.
Cook managed to move up the inside of Sutton at the Complex on lap one to take the race lead as Rob Collard spun at the Complex before getting collected by Adam Morgan’s Mercedes, bringing out the first safety car.
On the restart, Butcher managed to navigate his way past Sutton and move into second whilst his teammate Sam Tordoff retired with a mechanical issue.
Rob Smith spun leaving Team HARD’s Carl Boardley nowhere to go but into the side of Smith’s MG, bringing an unfortunate end to the latter’s race. This brought out the safety car again.
On the restart, Andrew Jordan was tagged by Jelley spinning him out of the points paying positions.
Meanwhile at the front, Cook led home Butcher and Sutton to win the third and final race of the day at Thruxton.
“We needed that one. It’s been a tough day today,” explained Cook. “I executed the start nicely and got past Ash (Sutton) and then just managed it from there.
“We took a bit of a gamble on setup and it paid off in the end. Our Team Manager Zoe (Timbrell) had to shoot off ill earlier, so that was for her. I’m chuffed for the team – it’s been a hard day.”
Butcher leaves Thruxton as joint championship leader with Colin Turkington and commented, “That was a fantastic race day for us. We started fifth all day and we’ve bagged some really good points.
“It was nice to have such a strong race, but I didn’t really have an answer for Josh (Cook) out front in that last one and I had to look in the mirrors back towards Ash (Sutton) a little. Some new brakes on for the final race made the difference and Mike (Bushell, engineer) has done a superb job all weekend.”
Sutton leaves Thruxton with yet another decent points haul but admitted it had been a tough day for him and his Team BMR squad. “It would have been stupid for me to put up too much of a fight into turn two,” said Sutton. “Josh (Cook) got there and in my head that would be that. We got good points and we’re still in the mix, but it’s been a tough day.”
Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal came home fourth with Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram fifth and Dan Cammish sixth, ending a good day’s work.
Tom Oliphant ended a tricky day with a solid seventh with Jason Plato following him home in eighth.
Turkington came through to finish ninth with Aiden Moffat rounding out the top 10.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship now heads North for rounds 10, 11 and 12 at Croft on the 15th and 16th June.
By Jordan Hollands.