BTC Racing's Josh Cook has won the opening round of the 2021 British Touring Car Championship after taking a convincing victory in race one at Thruxton.

Despite initially dropping to third behind the fast-starting BMW of Colin Turkington off the start-line, Cook's afternoon was immediately made all the more easier after contact between race leader Ash Sutton and Turkington, saw the Honda driver move into the lead at the complex.

Having started the race from pole-position, Sutton saw his hopes of winning the season opener end in abrupt fashion after Turkington tipped the defending champion into a spin. That proved to be the first of a series of incidents on a chaotic opening lap of 2021.

Further behind, Gordon Shedden's return to race action in the BTCC didn't even last a single lap after contact with Ollie Jackson, whilst following the Ford runner, saw the former three-time champion veer across the circuit before ending the race in the wall.

While careering across the circuit, Shedden was collected by the Hyundai of Chris Smiley, whose race also ended at the same spot, which brought an early safety car.

Cook then led the field as the race returned to full speed on lap 7 and despite coming under pressure from Tom Ingram shortly after the restart, it didn't take long for the BTC Racing driver to get into a rhythm and pull away from the field.

Cook eventually crossed the line 2.2s ahead of Ingram, taking the fastest lap in the process. Second position for Ingram marked a sensational debut for the former Toyota driver at his new Excelr8 Hyundai squad.

Jake Hill was another to take a podium finish in a new car at the first time of asking after the MB Motorsport driver, behind the wheel of a Ford Focus ST, kept four-time champion Turkington at bay following a race-long duel between the pair.

Turkington survived a number of skirmishes, including an opening lap off at Church corner, to finish in fourth ahead of an impressive top-five result from Dan Cammish in fifth.

Having lost his Team Dynamics drive this season, Cammish in making a one-off guest appearance for BTC Racing and former BTCC runner-up made good use of his time in the seat after moving up from twelfth to fifth.

Cammish took advantage of Rory Butcher and Jason Plato's squabble for fifth by moving past the pair on lap 13. Toyota Gazoo Racing UK's Butcher held Plato off for sixth.

Dan Rowbottom carried the hopes of Team Dynamics following Shedden's dramatic first lap crash and the team's debutant scored strong points with a solid showing in eighth.

Adam Morgan scored points in ninth on his first attempt with Ciceley Motorsport's brand new BMW 330i M Sport, while the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti of Sutton recovered back up the order from last to finish in tenth.