Sutton secures practice double
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing star Ashley Sutton has topped both BTCC free practice sessions at Croft as the young talent mastered the wet and wild conditions in North Yorkshire.
Sutton claimed the first Subaru win of the season at Oulton Park last time out and the Japanese marque is at the sharp end of the field once more. The 23-year-old was the shining light of a difficult start to the campaign for the Team BMR-run Levorgs and he has since fired himself into championship contention.
That challenge could be firmly established this weekend if Sutton’s practice pace is anything to go by, as he backed up his FP1 showing with another headline performance in the second session.
A 1:32.254s lap time was the quickest of the 40-minutes of running, and Sutton was the only driver to come close to topping his own benchmark.
A quartet of champions and a popular race winner followed Sutton in the order with Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Jack Goff, Jason Plato and Andrew Jordan signalling their intentions for a high-flying weekend.
The Honda Civic Type Rs of Shedden and Neal have shown front-running pace at every venue on the calendar so far, and the Japanese hatchback is again carrying its significant success ballast with minimum fuss. Goff made it three Hondas in-a-row in the independently run Eurotech Racing car.
Plato is enjoying his most competitive Saturday of the season so far, whilst Pirtek-backed Jordan was the quickest BMW on-track. The Bavarian marque historically runs extremely well at Croft, but some of its advantage seems to have been eroded with the arrival of inclement weather.
Aron Taylor-Smith pipped his new MG team-mate Josh Cook to claim seventh with the MG6 having one of its best showings of 2017, whilst Chris Smiley and Mat Jackson will be content with top ten times.
Jackson’s Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo team-mate Luke Davenport wasn’t so fortunate, however, after contact with the fellow Ford of Stephen Jelley fired the former off track. A puncture and damaged suspension forced Davenport out of contention.
There were a number of other minor spins in the session, including those for Matt Neal and Matt Simpson, whilst the Speedworks Toyota of Tom Ingram failed to make it out after the earlier fire.
All teams are confident of quick repairs, however, with the full 32-car field expected to flash back into action for the all-important qualifying session at 16:00, which can be seen live and exclusively online via www.itv.com/btcc.
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – FP2 – Croft
1 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 1m32.254s (82.92 mph)
2 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.461s
3 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.699s
4 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +0.735s
5 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.792s
6 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +0.928s
7 Aron TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +0.982s
8 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +1.049s
9 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +1.067s
10 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +1.133s
11 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +1.154s
12 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +1.295s
13 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +1.330s
14 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +1.668s
15 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +1.679s
16 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +1.711s
17 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +1.743s
18 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.800s
19 James COLE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1.805s
20 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +1.833s
21 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +1.900s
22 Will BURNS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +1.937s
23 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +2.137s
24 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +2.248s
25 Dennis STRANDBERG (SWE) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +2.270s
26 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +2.293s
27 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +2.325s
28 Josh PRICE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +2.334s
29 Ant WHORTON-EALES (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +2.651s
30 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +2.923s
31 Luke DAVENPORT (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +3.381s
32 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport NO TIME