Triple Eight Racing BTCC
ROCKINGHAM - A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Qualifying on Saturday afternoon was red flagged half way through the session when the weather made a turn for the worse plunging the circuit into the darkness of thunder, lightning and torrential rain.  The MG Racing RCIB Insurance boys however were happy with the wet conditions as once again they were able to show their pace with a full wet set up.  Josh immediately stormed his way up to 3rd with Ash in 6th placing them in prime position for the weekend.

During the first race of the day on Sunday the MG duo were beaten off the line by the rear wheel drive Subaru's but managed their races superbly. Josh finished the race in fifth and Ash in sixth, Josh was then promoted to fourth following a penalty given to a fellow competitor when the start was reviewed.  Honda’s Gordon Shedden took the first win of the weekend.

Race Two wasn’t quite so lucky as Josh had contact with Jason Plato in the Subaru on the opening lap sending him into a spin and subsequently into the BMW of Jack Goff.  The MG6 sustained damage that was beyond repair forcing him into retirement from the race. 

Ash got away cleanly from the drama that unfolded behind him and held onto fourth position for much of the race before losing out a place to Rob Collard in the BMW and eventually bringing the car home in fifth. It was Sam Tordoff again in the BMW who was victorious with the win.

Ash was promoted to third in the reverse grid draw for Race Three, however with him being on the harder tyre compound it wasn’t going to be an easy task.  He did however make a great start and made his way up to fourth before tumbling down the order after receiving damage following an incident with Dave Newsham, eventually finishing in 18th.  Josh had a great race storming his way up the field from the back of the grid to finishing in a point scoring position of fifteenth.  Aron Smith took his maiden win for BKR in the Volkswagen.

Following the weekends antics Josh Cook commented “The weekend started really well with the MG RCIB team managing to identify the component causing our handling issues.  The car was transformed and back to its old ways straight out the box.  Qualifying was really tricky and we started the session just a little outside our usual wet weather sweet spot.  We made some pretty big setup changes in session which transformed the car and although managing to put it on third on the grid, I couldn’t help but feel like we had left a little on the table.  

“Race One was a comfortable result of fifth although this was changed to fourth after the race due to a start line incident from another car.  We cruised to a finish with gaps both in front and behind, lacking the pace to really challenge the top few cars.

“Race Two and Three were very much downhill from this point with both mechanical and electrical issues ruining our chances for any silverware.  We have come away from the weekend a little disappointed with the results, however due to sorting our handling issues, really looking forward to the rest of the season.  Bring on Silverstone!
 
Ash Sutton added “Rockingham was a step in the right direction after having two bad meetings on the trot. Qualifying didn’t quite go to plan, as soon as it started to rain we were instantly looking at a front row start but a few things cropped up and it put a halt to us progressing forward like we were hoping. I was still pleased to end up sixth overall.

“The main aim this weekend was to just focus on finishing, as we needed to claw back some points in the Jack Sears Championship after having to weekends of bad results. Race One we maintained our position and really focused on getting a good solid result in preparation for Race Two. Starting on the third row for the second race gave me the chance to push up, after the first few opening laps we found ourselves in fourth place, I couldn't quite hold off the charging Collard but I was pleased to bring it home fifth and score some more decent points. 

“Race Three was always going to be a bit more of a challenge. We were on the harder tyre of the two compounds and after watching everyone else's performance on them, they didn't seem to be the favourite tyre. Starting on the inside of the second row meant it gave us more of a chance to stay near the pointed end of the grid. We had a great few opening laps and were sat in sixth but then an error from myself and a change of direction in the braking zone from Dave Newsham meant we had a coming together dropping us back down the field. The car was sustained too much damaged to push forward so I just focused on bringing her home”.

With Ash remaining at the top of the Jack Sears Championship tables with a lead of 52 points, the championship now heads into its final two events the first being at Silverstone in three weeks’ time on the 17th and 18th September for the penultimate rounds. 
 
Written by Maddy Turner
Photos by AMSoul-Images.com