Sutton takes the spoils at Snetterton test
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Ashley Sutton secured the fastest lap time during the two-day mid-summer BTCC test at Snetterton. The championship challenger set the time during a frenetic morning of running on Thursday, as he edged out Wednesday’s pace-setter Jack Goff.
“We didn’t get too much testing in during the winter so it has been really nice to have these two days,” said Sutton. “We focussed on mileage and dialling the car in during Wednesday, plus of course looking at different set-ups, and that was the plan again today.
“We really found the sweet spot however, and we hooked it up to find a chunk of time. It sets things up well for the event here at Snetterton and the rest of the season.”
Goff also went quicker on day two but the Eurotech Racing driver eventually fell just 0.059s shy of Sutton’s benchmark. The Honda Civic Type R of Goff was also one of the busiest cars on track as the BTCC race winner completed nearly 140 laps of the 2.97-mile circuit across the two days.
Much of the running was completed in scorching summer conditions – with Wednesday’s track temperatures reaching more than 36C – but the Dunlop BluResponse wet tyres also saw some action on Thursday afternoon.
Heavy rain – accompanied at times by thunder, lightning and hail – descended on the Norfolk venue with only a handful of drivers risking the conditions after lunch. There was a flurry of activity in the closing moments, however, when a number of cars returned to the track as the weather rapidly improved.
With little chance of improvements on the timesheets, it meant that Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram and TAG Racing’s Jake Hill remained third and fourth respectively, whilst Dave Newsham’s flyer in the BTC Norlin Racing Chevrolet was still good enough for fifth overall.
Hill in particular shone throughout the test as the Team HARD-run VWs made solid progress. The young racer was one of those drivers on-track until the finish as he also set the fastest time in Thursday’s damp conditions.
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington was next in the order, as he shared driving duties with team-mate Rob Collard across the two days.
The next trio of times were all set on Wednesday afternoon as Ollie Jackson, Aiden Moffat and Adam Morgan produced the goods late on.
AmDTuning.com only completed the first day of running, but Jackson’s performance underlined the Kent squad’s recent upturn in pace, whilst Moffat and Morgan again proved the consistency of the Mercedes A-Class.
Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo completed the top ten positions with Mat Jackson’s early pace-setter on Wednesday eventually slipping down the order.
BTCC big guns such as Matt Neal, Jason Plato and Andrew Jordan failed to trouble the top ten, although overall times are of course difficult to assess with teams running their own programmes in preparation for the second half of the season.
Brett Smith, Chris Milford and Rory Butcher enjoyed maiden BTCC tests for Eurotech Racing, Team HARD and Motorbase Performance respectively, with the latter running as high as tenth on Thursday morning. Stewart Lines was back behind the wheel of the Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus, as the team continues to assess its options for the remainder of 2017.
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will be back on-track for Rounds 16, 17 and 18 at Snetterton on 29/30 July.
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Snetterton Test – Wednesday and Thursday COMBINED
1 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 1m57.130s (91.24 mph)
2 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +0.059s
3 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +0.263s
4 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +0.290s
5 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +0.366s
6 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.525s
7 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +0.663s
8 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.694s
9 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +0.718s
10 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +0.894s
11 Will BURNS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +0.895s
12 Brett SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +0.993s
13 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +1.007s
14 Josh PRICE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1.050s
15 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +1.084s
16 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +1.096s
17 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +1.152s
18 James COLE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1.195s
19 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1.314s
20 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +1.424s
21 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +1.432s
22 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +1.552s
23 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +1.630s
24 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +1.653s
25 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +1.798s
26 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +1.957s
27 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +2.644s
28 Stewart LINES (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +3.268s