One Motorsport with Starline Racing tallied more silverware in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone this past weekend (September 23/24) as Josh Cook provisionally wrapped up the Independent Drivers’ title for a second successive season.
Arriving at the Home of British Motor Racing – which is a short trip down the road from the Brackley-based squad’s factory – eager to bounce back from a challenging outing at Donington Park, Cook led the line as he chalked up his 13th Independents’ Trophy win of 2023.
That victory ensured that the 32-year-old has now secured an unassailable lead at the top of the standings whilst it also strengthened One Motorsport’s grasp at the summit of the Independent Teams’ battle with three races left to run.
Team-mates Aiden Moffat and Jade Edwards each produced a trio of battling drives around the 1.64-mile National circuit with Moffat charging to a double points finish whilst Edwards once again came oh-so close to a breakthrough top 15 result.
Qualifying on Saturday saw all three Honda Civic Type R drivers miss out on the Top Ten Showdown with Cook heading the charge in 15th. Sticking with slick tyres in drizzly conditions, the Bath racer progressed to ninth in race one before taking seventh in race two.
With the Independent Drivers’ title in the bag, the front-wheel-drive ace then clinched his latest class victory in race three with a superlative drive to sixth. That triumph also ensured he has now moved up to fifth place in the overall standings.
“Firstly it is nice to have wrapped up the Independent Drivers’ title with a round to spare,” he said. “Whilst outright wins and the overall title is what we’re striving for, to clinch this championship with 13 wins so far is a testament to work the whole team have been putting in this year.
“If I’m honest, this weekend I think we’ve just missed that final ingredient that would have put us right in the mix at the front. Silverstone is so close and a tenth of a second can be huge; we made the best of what we could.
“Looking beyond the results though, it was nice to bring home a trophy for Paul Hartley on his final weekend with us as Team Manager. Paul has been the beating heart of this team and I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say what he’s done for us as a collective down the years has been incredible; we’ll certainly miss him and we wish him well!”
Moffat found himself in the thick of the action throughout the day as he battled his way forward from the tenth row of the grid. Moving up to 17th in race one, the Scotsman showed eye-catching speed in races two and three to finish inside the points on both occasions.
“It’s been another challenging weekend but at least we managed to come away with some points,” he admitted. “The whole crew did a great job improving the car throughout Saturday and Sunday and they deserve a lot of credit.
“This championship is all about small margins and in race two I finished 0.005s behind Michael Crees. Had those roles been reversed I’d have started on pole for race three and we could potentially be stood here talking about a podium or something; that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
For Edwards, it was a case of what might have been as she narrowly missed out on clinching a maiden points finish of the season. Starting at the rear of the field following a challenging Saturday, the home hero gambled on wet tyres in race one and carved her way forward to run as high as 14th at one stage.
Unfortunately, a late charge from the slick-shod cars dropped her back to 16th, one place shy of the points. Multiple bouts of contact from rival drivers in race two and three then scuppered her chances of making any meaningful progress, leaving her to battle it out on the cusp of the points-paying positions.
“We so nearly had it,” stated Edwards. “Starting plum last – which wasn’t what our pace merited – meant that we could roll the dice and go for wet tyres in race one; and the gamble nearly paid off because we were in the points for so long. Those on slicks were just too strong at the end.
“I felt that we had the pace to move forward in races two and three but contact on multiple occasions prevented us from doing that – which is frustrating. We’ve got one more event to go so it’ll now be full focus on trying to end the season well.”
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship concludes in less than two weeks’ time as Rounds 28, 29 & 30 play out around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on October 7/8.
One Motorsport with Starline Racing will head to the world-famous Kent venue holding a 27-point advantage over CarStore Power Maxed Racing in the battle for the coveted Independent Teams’ Championship.