Approaching the midpoint of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, the Rich Energy BTC Racing squad is going to the Croft meeting this weekend aiming to strengthen its position at the top of two BTCC points tables.

Driver Josh Cook sits 15 points clear at the top of the drivers’ competition and will be looking to add to the four wins he has already recorded over the 12 races so far. He has been a double winner at the circuit before for BTC Racing and is aiming to capitalise on a track he enjoys.

Team-mate Jason Plato has been a five-time winner on the 2.13-mile layout and will be looking to build the momentum after a strong run last time out in the final race at Oulton Park in his Honda Civic Type R. Jade Edwards climbed onto the rostrum as the leading Jack Sears Trophy runner at Oulton and it has given her an even stronger determination to claim more silverware this weekend.

Cook will come into the weekend with no hybrid power usage during qualifying, which is a success penalty for sitting on top of the points table, while his rivals will all have access to the extra grunt. Nevertheless, the Bath racer is optimistic looking ahead to this weekend.

He said: “It will be tough with no hybrid to use, but we know that the Rich Energy BTC Racing Honda has a superb chassis and the fast sweeping corners around the back of the track will play to our strengths.

“It will be a question of maximising what we can get from the car and what I can get from myself to make sure I am in a position to capitalise on anything we can earn. We go into each weekend with a target of at least 30 points, and that will be the goal.”

Plato showed strong pace last time out and was battling in the heart of the top 10 throughout the finale. He has tested the Rich Energy BTC Racing car at the track ahead of this year’s campaign and can see that the demands it places will be suited to the car.

“So long as we have good pace from the engine, I think the circuit can play into our hands,” said the two-time title winner. “On the fast section through the Jim Clark Esses, into the super-quick Barcroft right-hander and into Sunny, it is imperative to have a well-balanced car and that is exactly what we have.

“Everyone in the team is on top of their game and the car is handling so well that it is a pleasure. There is more to come from the powerplant and, if that is unlocked, then we will be looking at the sharp end of the results sheet.”

Edwards was thrilled with her Jack Sears Trophy success during the fourth meeting of the season and says she will use the positivity from that event to attack the rounds in North Yorkshire.

“We are on the front foot after claiming our first trophy of the campaign,” she said. “That has been a reward for all the hard work that has been put in by the team as well as from me. It has given me the impetus to go forward, and Croft is one of my absolute favourite tracks.

“It has a bit of everything with a technical section at the start and end of the lap, plus the real brave corners in the middle. You need a bit of everything from the car for Croft, and I think it is a place where we can excel.”

As well as Cook leading the drivers’ points, Rich Energy BTC Racing is atop the BTCC Independents Teams’ contest and team principal Danny Buxton says maintaining the 2022 success record is vital at this stage of the year.

Buxton said: “It’s been a relentless first half of the season, so now incredibly important to maintain the high level of delivery from our side and not drop the ball in any area.

“Our team manager Paul Hartley and his crew have done magnificently so far this campaign and it’s a credit to them that we’re in contention for all championships, as we approach the summer break.

“My job is to ensure the momentum, motivation and intensity levels are maintained through the team as we look to close out the first half of the season in fine style.”

The qualifying session for the fifth meeting of the Kwik Fit British touring car Championship will be streamed live on from 1520hrs on Saturday. Live coverage of the meeting will be broadcast on ITV4 on Sunday starting from 1130hrs. The races begin at 1205hrs, 1435hrs and 1705hrs.

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