The Power Maxed Racing BTCC Team headed North this weekend for the latest round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Following a turbulent last round the team headed to the North East circuit of Croft hoping for some luck to follow. A sunny Saturday started with the team showing good pace in FP1 and FP2 in and around the top 10 mark. Both drivers experimented with a range of set ups but struggled slightly to find clear air in qualifying to set a time that reflected that early pace. When the dust settled, Josh Cook qualified in 19th and Dave Newsham in 20th.
Race one started in heavily overcast conditions with both cars running the hard compound tyre. Both drivers were off the line quickly, with Cook and Newsham passing the gaggle in front of them to make it to 15th and 18th respectfully by the end of lap 2. Lap 3 saw the pair progress up another place each taking Cook to 14th and Newsham to 17th. The pair kept battling on and by lap 5 had made it to 13th and 16th respectfully. Both cars continued to charge and on lap 7, Cook overtook Depper to make it to 12th with Newsham taking Smith to put himself into 15th. Lap 11 saw Newsham loose a place to the hard charging VW of Smith however he regained the place by overtaking the Audi of Abbott to finish in 15th, while Cook maintained his 12th position after a robust challenge by the other Audi.
With the race two grid decided by the pace of race one, Cook started the race in 15th with Newsham in 19th. In contrast to the overcast and mildly damp race one, the sun came out for race two. Both drivers got off to a great start making up a place each on the first lap. Newsham put in a bold move at the hairpin at the end of the first lap to grab a handful of places and jump up to 15th, right behind his teammate. Newsham made good use of the soft tire however Depper and Smith muscled their way back up the inside pushing Newsham to 17th. Lap 5 saw Cook take Abbot for 13th only to loose a place on lap 8 as Abbott grabbed it back. Not settling for this, Cook immediately regained the place to put himself back in 13th. Newsham continued his charge to push back past Smith and take 16th. Newsham continued his charge on lap 10 to retake 15th from Depper. The penultimate lap saw Cook go off heavily under braking and hit the tire wall hard, sadly ending his race. He was unhurt and taken back in the medical car. Newsham has a final surge on the last lap to push past both Abbott and Jordan to finish a well fought 13th.
The team found themselves again under pressure to get Cook’s #66 car repaired in time for the final race of the day. Cook started from 28th and Newsham in 13th. Cook had a blinding opening lap on his soft tire option and pushed his way to 22nd by the end of the first lap. Newsham started well and held tight to 13th. Cook had progressed to 20th by lap 3. The final race was truly action packed with bodywork flying and people colliding all over the circuit. Lap 4 saw Cook continue his charge to get to 18th and passed Austin to get to 17 on lap 6. His charge continued as he passed Depper for 16th on lap 7 and was then in the mix, fighting with Smith and Moffatt for 14th. Lap 9 saw Newsham up into 12th with his overtake of Abbott’s Audi. On lap 12 Newsham passed Morgan in the Mercedes and Cook also gained a further place following the demise of Morgan, the pair finished with Newsham in 11th and Cook in 15th.Adam Weaver, Power Maxed Racing Team Principal commented,
“We were hoping for a bit of luck this weekend, we are still getting to grips with the new tire compound but the team and the drivers are making great progress.”
"This is also the second meeting on the bounce where the team have been given a mountain to climb to repair a car in under 2 hours. I’m proud to say they rose to the challenge admirably and got Josh back out for race three, further proof of the dedication and skill of the Power Maxed Racing Team.”
Power Maxed Racing will return after the summer break when the championship visits Snetterton on the 8th and 9th August.