SUTTON LAYS DOWN EARLY MARKER AT SILVERSTONE
New standings leader Ash Sutton has fired out an early warning to hit title rivals by topping the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Free Practice session at Silverstone.
Sutton hit the front for the first time this season with a trio of top five finishes at Thruxton last weekend, whilst reigning champ Colin Turkington suffered with an on-track issue, and now the Laser Tools Racing driver is looking to stay on top despite carrying maximum success ballast onboard his Infiniti Q50.
“Last weekend was perfect obviously with Colin having an issue in race one it fell into our hands,” said Sutton. “From then it was about maximising points but being safe, thinking about every situation and move that we were making. For me we played that the best we could do, in the safest manner.
“We’ve done a very good time this morning, I expect the pace to be a little quicker than that, and we’re trying to find where that pace is in the car. Obviously with carrying the weight in FP1, there’s going to be a switch and we’re going to drop down the order a fraction. We’re in a very good position. Looking at the car where it is and where it was – I’m very happy.
“We didn’t expect to be leading the standings at this point, obviously we know what we’re up against. They’re not easy people to beat and the position we’re in shows we’ve done a very good job up to now, but it’s all ours to go wrong. So we’ve just got to maintain what we’ve got, make sure we’re finishing every race and keep the points up.”
Tom Ingram – another man in form following his win double in Hampshire last time out – was just 0.090s behind Sutton in this FP1 session, as the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters star has also fired himself into title contention.
Ingram is looking to make a late push for overall glory and he’s in the right place to do it as the most successful BTCC driver at Silverstone in recent times. Five wins over the last five years is quite an impressive return, and one or two more this weekend will do his championship chances no harm at all.
Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant and Excelr8 Motorsport’s Senna Proctor teamed up for a Kwik Fit golf event on Friday and the duo clearly enjoyed eachothers company as they’ve also paired up on track… ending this session in third and fourth respectively.
Halfords Yuasa Racing enjoyed one of its best weekends of the season so far with a quadruple podium visit at Thruxton so it’s little surprise to see Matt Neal and Dan Cammish continue their upturn in fortunes with fifth and sixth here at Silverstone.
Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools’ Adam Morgan is fast-becoming one of the most consistent driver/car combinations on-track as the Lancastrian slipped into eighth during practice. The Mercedes man qualified fourth last weekend so will be hoping to be a contender again later this afternoon.
Aiden Moffat claimed the first ever podium for the Infiniti Q50 here last season and the Scotsman kicked off this year’s event in solid fashion with ninth, whilst Motorbase Performance’s Rory Butcher rounded out the top ten.
Qualifying at Silverstone often proves to be one of the hardest fought of the season and things are already heating up this time around with the top 25 being covered by less than a second in the opening session.
2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Silverstone
1 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing 57.501s
2 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters +0.090s
3 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.157s
4 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +0.199s
5 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.248s
6 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.260s
7 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools +0.272s
8 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.308s
9 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.355s
10 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Motorbase Performance +0.397s
11 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +0.413s
12 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +0.470s
13 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +0.511s
14 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.512s
15 Tom ONSLOW-COLE (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +0.610s
16 Michael CREES (GBR) The Clever Baggers with BTC Racing +0.650s
17 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.709s
18 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +0.720s
19 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) HUB Financial Solutions with Team HARD +0.724s
20 Tom CHILTON (GBR) BTC Racing +0.752s
21 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +0.803s
22 James GORNALL (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +0.807s
23 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +0.830s
24 Andy NEATE (GBR) Motorbase Performance +0.962s
25 Jack BUTEL (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools +0.981s
26 Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Power Maxed Car Care Racing +1.147s
27 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Team HARD +1.448s