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BTCC 2020: Cook heats up with Croft double


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BTCC Croft
Josh Cook took a double at Croft
BTC Racing star survives clash to take wins, while title rivals Sutton and Turkington encounter plenty of drama

BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R driver Josh Cook survived a dramatic race two clash with Matt Neal to take a pair of British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) victories at Croft.

Toyota Corolla racer Tom Ingram recovered from a qualifying penalty to take his third win of 2020 in the final race of a drama-filled day of racing.

Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 star Ash Sutton left Yorkshire with his title lead intact despite incidents in the first two races, while reigning champion Colin Turkington had a terrible weekend in his Team BMW 330i M Sport, failing to score points in the second and third races.

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Cook claimed pole position in a rain-hit qualifying session after fastest driver Ingram was excluded for a technical infringement and withstood pressure from fellow Civic Type R driver Jake Hill throughout race one. Hill also had to fend off a challenge from Turkington early on, but the two Civics eventually pulled clear of the BMW.

Sutton was challenging for a podium spot early in race one until his Q50 was pitched into a spin by Rory Butcher (Ford Focus ST), dropping down the order. But he staged a spirited recovery to cross the line fifth, just behind Butcher, and was elevated to fourth when the latter was penalised for the incident. Tom Chilton was sixth ahead of fellow Civic Type R racer Neal.

Cook again jumped into the lead at the start of race two, with Hill giving chase. Turkington tried to challenge Hill on the run to the first turn but locked up and slid off the track and out of the race. 

Hill chased Cook hard but soon slipped back into the clutches of Neal, who fought his way up to second and soon began to close in on Cook, who was weighed down by success ballast for his race-one win. Neal finally caught Cook on the final lap, making a lunge on his rival that pitched Cook sideways. 

Neal crossed the line first ahead of Cook, but the stewards ruled the move was unfair and reversed the positions, handing Cook his second win of the day.

Hill was also involved in further drama when Sutton attempted to battle past on lap six. Sutton clouted Hill in an ill-judged move, which only succeeded in giving him a puncture and putting him out of contention. That left Hill to take third ahead of Ingram.

Speedworks' Ingram had spent the first two races working up from the back of the grid after losing his qualifying time, and his efforts paid off in race three. Starting third on the grid, he made a great start to jump past works Honda man Dan Cammish and soon after fought his way past race-leader Chilton.

He controlled most of the race from there, although Cammish closed in near the end after he worked his way past Chilton. But Cammish wasn’t too upset with second, with a healthy haul of championship points bolstering his title bid.

Neal finished fourth ahead of Sutton, while Turkington had another disastrous race, with a puncture picked up in an early skirmish putting him out of contention.

As a result, Sutton ended the weekend seven points ahead of Cammish in the title race, with Turkington five points further back. Ingram is also in contention, 29 points down on Sutton.

The next event is at Snetterton in Norfolk on 25 October.

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