08 January 2020
The five-time race winner enjoyed the most successful BTCC season of his career in the squad’s Honda Civic Type R (FK8) last year, taking three race outright wins and four podiums on his way to claiming 4th in the overall standings and 2nd in the Independent standings.
Having penned a late deal to pilot the brand-new Type R just weeks before the start of the 2019 season, the 28-year-old claimed a stunning victory in the opening race at Brands Hatch to mark the #66 machine’s debut, following up with a podium finish at Donington Park just three weeks later.
“Continuity is so important in this championship. I’ve never had the chance to have two seasons in the same team and car, and it’s such an important piece of the puzzle;”
Two further wins followed at the former Jack Sears Trophy winners’ home track; Thruxton, with the Bath-based racer reaching the top step at each of the series’ two visits to the Hampshire speed bowl.
Notching up more race wins than the manufacturer-backed Honda team, 2019 also signalled a best-ever season for the BTC Racing squad, which recently confirmed an expanded three-car assault on the 2020 title.
With the benefit of an extensive pre-season testing programme in place, coupled with a years’ worth of experience and data, Cook is confident that a second year in the BTC Racing line-up offers up his best chance-to-date of clinching the coveted BTCC crown.
“We didn’t really manage to get any testing in last year. We just rocked up and won the opening round. That was great but each weekend we just had to work it out on track rather than having any knowledge. So the fact that we get to go into this year with all of that data and some winter testing along with our developments should hopefully take us a step forward.
“We went full guns for the overall title last year; we didn’t have an eye on the Independents until the main one was out of reach. We’re there to try for the overall title. That’s been my aim since I came into the BTCC in 2015, and that will always be my aim. We took more wins than the factory team with no testing. The team were mega and it was a great achievement. We’re arriving with more knowledge this season, and there’s no reason why we can’t take that extra step.”