COLLARD PENALTY PROMOTES SUTTON TO VICTORY
The day ended as it had began several hours ago with a drama-filled Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship contest at Brands Hatch, which left Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing UK) inheriting victory due to a penalty for on-the-road winner Ricky Collard (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK).
The final reverse grid race saw Collard’s Toyota slip into the lead on the opening lap as he passed pole-sitter Bobby Thompson (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils), whilst Sutton was surging through the order from 11th on the grid.
The three-time champion made pass after pass before he eventually hauled in Collard’s machine by mid-distance.
Collard defended valiantly and also used his additional hybrid well to keep Sutton at bay, but multiple track limit infringements began to be incurred as he fended off the #116 Ford Focus.
Unfortunately for Collard a ten second time penalty was eventually issued by the race stewards to the #37 Toyota, which ultimately gave the win to Sutton.
This didn’t stop both cars going side-by-side until the finish as Collard held on until the chequered flag, whilst news was filtering through of his penalty.
Thompson grabbed a career-best second place, whilst reigning champ Tom Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) completed the podium.
Dan Cammish (NAPA Racing UK) and Colin Turkington (Team BMW) finished fourth and fifth, whilst Adam Morgan (Team BMW) enjoyed a positive end to a difficult weekend with sixth.
Ash Sutton: “The performance Sam Osborne had with the soft tyres for the second race, kind of gave me a bit of fire in my belly and I thought we could maybe do something special here. We knew a lot of guys were on softs around us, with Tom [Ingram] and Ricky [Collard], so you just think maybe we’ll get P6 or P5 but not a win.
“He [Ricky Collard] made a little mistake so I showed my nose but he showed me the grass. I was trying to go for the extra point of leading a lap but it didn’t quite pay off. Ultimately the win is far more important.
“NAPA Racing UK have done such a good job with this car. I think it’s clear from everyone we’ve just dialled in on the chassis and made improvements and it’s singing at the moment. I couldn’t ask for a better weekend – a second and two wins! Looking forward to Snetterton”
Bobby Thompson: “This is massive, we’ve done it again! 12 months ago it was third, in another 12 months we’ll probably win it! But I don’t want to wait that long. We brought massive changes to the car this weekend, and traction was the biggest change that I noticed and it carried us through the weekend.
“We’ve got to work on our early race pace compared to these boys, the manufacturers, but after lap 10, 11, 12 I’m coming. So it’s something we have to go back to the drawing board with, but it is nice way to end the weekend.”
Tom Ingram: “I’ll always take a podium! My engineer got on the radio with I think 3 or 4 laps to go, and let me know that Collard has got a 10 second penalty, your currently 8 seconds behind so maintain that gap so you are in the mix.
“I don’t really know what happened there – Jake [Hill] obviously had the puncture, Rory [Butcher] was leaking fluid so he slowed down. I obviously was quite lucky to move forwards and pick up some spaces. But as we know with this Championship, sometimes we need a bit of luck and I’m never going to say no to them!
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 3 – Brands Hatch Indy
1. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK 24 Laps
2. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.948s
3. Tom Ingram , BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +5.901s
4. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +7.623s
5. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +8.457s
6. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +9.507s
7. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +9.682s
8. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +9.800s
9. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +10.680s
10.Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +11.677s
11. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +11.953s
12. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +15.352s
13. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +20.399s
14. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +21.909s
15. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +24.073s
16. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +24.648s
17. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +25.225s
18. Will Powell, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +33.652s
19. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +37.944s
20. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +38.319s
21. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +1 Lap
22. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +2 Laps
23. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +2 Laps
24. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +2 Laps
25.Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK DNF
26. Jade Edwards, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +DNF
27. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing DNS