THRUXTON RECAP: ROUND THREE
ASH SUTTON SLIDES HIS WAY TO RACE 3 WIN
The first race day of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship was rounded off with another entertaining encounter, as Round three’s wet-dry-wet contest saw reigning champion Ash Sutton prove his wet-weather prowess and take his first victory of the campaign.
The Laser Tools Racing star was in fighting form throughout the day and had scythed his way to the front early in the reverse-grid encounter with the vast majority of the field running on Goodyear wet tyres.
Jake Hill (MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square), Tom Oliphant (Team BMW) and Chris Smiley (Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com) proved to be exceptions to the rule in terms of tyre choice, and when conditions improved it looked as if the trio had played a masterstroke.
Hill’s Ford Focus was particularly quick as he carved his way back through the order and eventually passed Sutton’s Infiniti Q50 for the lead on lap ten.
Incredibly, no sooner had Hill hit the front that the rain began to fall again on the high-speed Hampshire circuit, giving Sutton the opportunity to come back for the victory in the latter stages – a fitting reward for his fighting spirit throughout the day.
Hill was now hanging on to second with both Jason Plato (Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing) and Gordon Shedden (Halfords Racing with Cataclean) closing in on the final lap.
The trio went three-wide as the chequered flag fell and it was Plato who had snatched second from Hill by just 0.070s, with Shedden only 0.166s further in arrears.
It was a valiant effort by Kent-based Hill and he was further rewarded with the championship lead following his podium treble during this enthralling season opening weekend at the fastest circuit in the UK.
Daniel Lloyd made it a double top five celebration for Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing, followed by the Team BMW duo of Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant.
Jack Goff grabbed the best result of the day for the newly built Team HARD Cupras with eighth, whilst Ollie Jackson (MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square) and Stephen Jelley (Team BMW) rounded out the top ten – the latter having led the opening lap of the race before falling down the order on wet tyres.
Relive the action from the third Round of the championship via ITV’s race in 60 seconds highlights clip below.
Heading to Snetterton, in just over two weeks’ time, Hill leads double-winner Josh Cook in the standings by a single point, with series returnee Jason Plato currently third overall. For the full standings following Thruxton, click here.