Sutton shows fighting spirit at Snetterton
Ashley Sutton produced a strong performance in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton this past weekend (August 3/4) but was left to wonder what might have been after just two points finishes.
Qualifying around the 2.97-mile circuit proved challenging for the Subaru Levorg driver, who would ultimately find himself in 18th place to start the opening encounter.
Staying out of trouble and capitalising on the troubles that those ahead of him encountered in race one, Sutton progressed up the order and took the chequered flag in 12th.
Starting on the sixth row for race two, the 25-year-old continued his charge through the field as he produced a string of overtakes to move inside the top ten and finish seventh.
Virtue of the reverse grid draw Sutton lined up in second place and, as the lights went out, the 2017 champion made a strong start and slotted into second place. From there, a titanic battle for the lead took place which saw Sutton fight tooth and nail to claim his first win of the season.
Sutton made a daring move for the lead in lap seven, which sadly didn’t last long as contact from Plato heading into Agostini just one corner later dropped him back a spot.
Continuing to hound Plato, the crucial moment in the race came on lap nine as both Sutton and Rory Butcher flanked Plato. During the fierce fight for the lead, contact between Sutton and Plato caused the Subaru to spin across the track, dropping down the order to 20th.
Leaving Snetterton, Sutton sits sixth in the BTCC Drivers’ Championship whilst Adrian Flux Subaru Racing are third and seventh in the BTCC Manufacturer/Constructors Championship and BTCC Teams’ Championship respectively.
“After qualifying down the field we came up with a strategy that would hopefully mean we would be in the mix and on the right tyre for race three, which paid off,” said Sutton. “Races one and two were tough but I managed to stay out of trouble and utilise the cars strengths to make progress.
“Getting drawn on front row of the reverse grid and with the soft tyre, whilst those around us were on the hard compound, couldn’t have been better. I gave it absolutely everything in race three but that still wasn’t enough as it came to an end.
“I can’t thank the team enough, they’ve worked their socks off all weekend and deserved a result in that last one. We go back to Thruxton in a few weeks and that will likely be tough for us given the characteristics of that circuit but we’ll do our best to bounce back from this weekend and keep fighting.”
Next on the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship calendar is a second visit to the fastest circuit in the country, Thruxton, for Rounds 19, 20 & 21 on August 17/18.