Fast start for Sutton at Snetterton
Three-time champion Ash Sutton has started his Snetterton weekend from where he left off at Brands Hatch last time out… at the very top of the timesheets.
The opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Free Practice session kicked off with the normal raft of system checks and tyre changes – remembering that all three Goodyear tyre compounds are available this weekend – but lap times quickened considerably late on.
Sutton’s benchmark – set in the final ten minutes – dipped under Colin Turkington’s pole position time from last season and was less than two tenths shy of Tom Ingram’s qualifying lap record from 2019.
The BTCC paddock is basked in perfect weather conditions and warm track temperatures, suggesting that we should see some extremely quick times across the weekend, although warm temparatures can also have an adverse affect on top speeds.
Sutton, in truth, was in a league of his own in this opening run as he ended up 0.666s faster than NAPA Racing UK team-mate Dan Cammish, whilst reigning champion Ingram was third in the order in his BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 Hyundai i30N.
The Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW of Jake Hill was fourth, ahead of an impressive run from CarStore Power Maxed Racing’s Árón Taylor-Smith.
“I’d prefer to be where I am at this stage rather than further back,” said Taylor-Smith. “The car is in a very good window, and it has been in the previous two weekends as well – we’ve just been a little bit unfortunate. Hopefully this weekend we can kickstart our season and put on a little bit of a show. I’m excited and it’s nice to be at Snetterton this weekend.”
Andrew Watson was seventh in identical machinary, suggesting the Vauxhall Astra is well suited to the longest circuit on the schedule.
Team BMW duo Colin Turkington and Stephen Jelley ended up inside the top ten, as did BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8’s Tom Chilton and NAPA Racing’s UK’s Daniel Rowbottom.
Free Practice 2 commences at 1210 whilst Qualifying for Round 10 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship commences at 1540 – the latter being streamed LIVE via the ITV Sport YouTube Channel.
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – FP1 – Snetterton (300)
1. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK 1:54.952s
2. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +0.666s
3. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.677s
4. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +0.825s
5. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.889s
6. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +1.083s
7. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.111s
8. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +1.424s
9. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +1.562s
10. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +1.573s
11. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +1.641s
12. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +1.647s
13. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +1.836s
14. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1.897s
15. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +1.946s
16. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +1.950s
17. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +1.951s
18. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +2.083s
19. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +2.250s
20. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +2.256s
21. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +2.544s
22. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +2.562s
23. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +3.454s
24. Will Powell, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +3.888s
25. Jade Edwards, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +4.948s
26. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +5.473s