The works MG BTCC outfit did not underperform despite picking up just a solitary victory last year, reckons the team's new lead driver Josh Cook.
The 2015 season was a tough one for the Triple Eight Racing-run team, with only one win for Jack Goff throughout the year and former champion Andrew Jordan failing to score a victory.
Both drivers have moved on for the new season, Goff joining West Surrey Racing BMW and Jordan heading to Motorbase Ford.
But new signing Cook believes a lot of last season was down to bad luck and is hopeful both himself and rookie teammate Ashley Sutton can bring more regular wins back to the MG squad.
“The guys behind the scenes do a really great job,” he said. “I don’t think this car underperformed last year, I think a lot of the teams around it overperformed, it still came here at the end of the season with a shot at the championship.
"It had a fair few podiums, Andrew had some bad luck otherwise he’d have had a few wins. I think it shows there is still pace in the car and the guys do know what they’re doing.
"I’m chuffed to be a part of it, me and Ash are doing well together as a team, and hopefully we can soon get up on that top step.”
MG has solid base
Cook took fifth place in the opening race of the weekend at Brands Hatch, setting himself up for what looked like a strong weekend.
However, oil in race two sent the Triple Eight Racing driver straight on at Graham Hill Bend and into the tyre barrier, ruining his race two and making race three a damage limitation exercise.
“I’m really pleased with the pace we’ve got in the car in both qualifying and the race,” Cook said. “We had a solid base, race two was purely unlucky for me with the oil.
"I was on the soft tyre with the weight and I think we were doing a fairly good job as well, a bit gutting but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
"Race three starting from the back, first lap midway through it looked like I popped a power steering pipe and its dumped all its fluid. I’m lucky to have brought it home at all.”
Donington Park was the scene of Josh Cook’s breakthrough performance in 2015, having a memorable battle for the lead with Aron Smith.
Having taken significant data from the Brands Hatch weekend, Cook is confident that he can be up near the sharp end at Donington on April 17.
“We’re going to be giving it everything we’ve got,” concluded Cook. “We’ve learned a lot this weekend so I’m really pleased with the package we’ve got and I think we’ll be able to do a bit of damage.”
James Charman / TouringCarTimes