MG back in the points at Rockingham
The MGs were back in the points at the Rockingham rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), despite more incidents costing the team a larger points tally.
Huge improvements were made following the disappointment of the last two rounds and that pace was shown in a fascinating wet qualifying on Saturday. In extremely challenging conditions, Josh Cook stormed to third while team-mate Ashley Sutton finished sixth fastest.
Despite both drivers getting out-dragged off the line by the rear wheel drive Subarus in race one, they managed their respective races superbly and finished in fifth and sixth. Reigning champion, Gordon Sheddon, won with a commanding lights to flag victory.
Cook was once again ruing his luck in race two as he was pushed wide by Jason Plato heading into the first corner. His MG6 was spun and collided with Jack Goff, with subsequent damage substantial enough to force him to retire from the race and all-but ruining his chances in race three.
With action everywhere in the opening laps, Sutton held firm in the battle for fourth until mid-way through the race, but eventually lost out to Rob Collard’s BMW and finished fifth. Sam Tordoff, who qualified in 27th and started race two from 10th, raced through the field to take the victory.
Ball seven, Aron Smith, was pulled out for the reverse grid, which resulted in Sutton being promoting to third for race three.
On the harder tyres, it was always going to be a tough ask for the rookie. The race started well as he fended off the pack from fourth, but after Mat Jackson, Rob Collard and Sheddon got by, he was involved in an incident with Dave Newsham which caused damage to his car and ended up finishing in 18th. Cook produced a typically resilient drive and battled from the back of the grid to finish in the points in 15th.
The 2016 BTCC season will return in three weeks time for the penultimate meeting of the season at Silverstone.