Current British Touring Car Championship points leader Josh Cook says he and his BTC Racing squad 'learnt an awful lot' with their Honda Civic Type-R after qualifying on the front row at Donington Park.

Despite running the maximum 54 kilos of success ballast, Cook managed to set the second fastest time in qualifying behind runaway pole-man Colin Turkington.

Having moved to the BTC Racing squad over the winter, Cook admitted today's [Saturday] qualifying session was the first time he'd driven the Honda Civic Type R in the dry conditions at this circuit.

"That was the first time we’ve driven this car around here in the dry. I didn’t know what to expect. I’m fairly happy with that," Cook told Crash.net.

"We’re still working on the car. The guys have done a great job. We kind of had to take another engineering gamble on set up. We made a good job. It worked well.

"There’s still some more time in it. It was raining in sector 2. It was a case of gaining a couple of tenths and getting there [sector 2] and losing it all.

"I expected to go quicker if we had more laps. Obviously everybody was out there at the same time. I think we did the lap when it counted. I’ve done two laps in anger in the dry around here, and that was them. I’m pleased with that."

Although Cook will start race one from a promising position, the BTC Racing driver has opted to use the hard tyre for the opening race and is keeping his expectations in check as a result of that decision.

"The ballast hurts us a lot around here. I got a bit of a tow from Chris [Smiley] up the hill. That helped a little bit but it is slowing us down a lot. We can see it on the data. That’s what it’s there for," Cook continued.

"We’ve just got to do the best job we can in race one and hopefully a bit [of weight] will come out and we can crack on with the rest of the day.

"I’ve got maximum ballast and the hard tyre. We always looking at race one as damage limitation. Being P2 gives us a good place to start from and not drop back too far."

Crucially, Cook says the electrical issues which plagued his weekend at Brands Hatch have since been resolved.

"That was sorted at the Thruxton test. Credit to them, they’ve finally sorted all of that out because it took a long time. That wasn’t down to anything the team had done, that was just a control part that wasn’t right," Cook explained.

"I’m happy we’ve sorted all of that now. At Brands we were just trying to fault find and keep it running and we came away with a good set of results.

"Here it’s about car setup and moving forward with development, and that’s what we’ve been doing. We haven’t been blisteringly quick in practice, but I’m not interested in that.

"We need to make sure what tools we’ve got when it counts. We’ve learnt an awful lot today."

 

 

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