SUTTON SECURES SNETTERTON DOUBLE
Ash Sutton continued his domination of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship event at Snetterton, as the former champion claimed his second win of the day and his fourth successive triumph of the season.
NAPA Racing UK’s Sutton led from lights-to-flag and was never under any pressure as both he and his impressive Motorbase-run Ford Focus seem perfectly matched at the Norfolk venue.
Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport) and Colin Turkington (Team BMW) ran line astern to complete the podium once more, whilst Dan Rowbottom (NAPA Racing UK) continued to make impressive progress with fourth place – his final pass by Team BMW’s Adam Morgan including some contact between the two.
Morgan and Stephen Jelley were fifth and sixth respectively, as they were in the opening contest, whilst Tom Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) had to settle for seventh running on the Goodyear hard tyre compound.
The top ten positions were rounded out by Rory Butcher (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK), Sam Osborne (Napa Racing UK) and Daniel Lloyd (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils), whilst Dan Cammish (NAPA Racing UK) was unable to make progress in the bout and had to settle for 11th.
There was a fun battle for the lower points paying positions as Aron Taylor-Smith (CarStore Power Maxed Racing) held off a gaggle of cars for 12th, whilst Ricky Collard (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK) drove brilliantly from the back of the grid to grab 13th.
The post-race reverse grid draw – drawn by race-winner Sutton – also went in favour of the standings leader as he drew out #6 meaning Team BMW’s Jelley and Morgan will line up on the front row.
With Sutton starting sixth, albeit on the Goodyear hard tyre, it will be fun to watch to see if he can complete an extraordinary hat-trick here at Snetterton.
Ash Sutton, NAPA Racing UK, said: “We were just on the right tyre. Those first few laps are so critical and we saw that in Race 1, even with us on the wrong tyre, just to get away. Those soft tyres helped make life that little bit easier for us and stopped Jake [Hill] coming back at us at the end. We semi-managed the tyre a little bit, as anything can happen in BTCC, but I wanted to make sure we had some tyre life in the end if there had been a Safety Car.
“I don’t think we will make it five wins on the bounce, especially on the hard tyre! We’ve got to just survive in Race 3 – we have had a mega run so far today and we will be up against it on the hard tyre.”
Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport, said: “I was best of the rest so I’m happy. Another P2 on the board is great and once again big thanks to the team for making it possible. Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport have given me another good car. You just have to race your own race and not worry about what you cannot control.
“Ash [Sutton] being far up the road is not ideal, but we cannot control that. Let’s just see what happens in the future – we are doing a good job and we will just keep going.”
Colin Turkington, Team BMW, said: “I knew from lap one that the rear was following the front! We had pretty good pace out there. The soft tyre can spoil you – especially in race one as that is as good as it gets. We were not as quick as the soft tyre cars, but the mediums were still pretty strong and we compensated for it.
“The only pressure was from Daniel [Rowbottom] behind – I could see he was coming. There were five laps to go and he had five laps of hybrid power remaining and I had two, so I was just trying to stay focused and not drop any unnecessary lap time. It is another great result for the team, though, with four podiums today so so far, so good.
“It is difficult to know what Race 3 will be like on the hard tyre. I have had some good races here before on it and so the key is to switch it on in the first few laps. It is normally a race of attrition so we just have to hang in there.”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 2 – Snetterton (300)
1. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK 12 Laps
2. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +3.614s
3. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +4.370s
4. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +4.653s
5. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +10.968s
6. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +14.681s
7. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +15.769s
8. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +20.304s
9. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +20.726s
10. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +20.806s
11. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +22.715s
12. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +31.389s
13. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +31.878s
14. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +32.543s
15. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +32.851s
16. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +33.901s
17. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +34.392s
18. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +34.800s
19. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +35.349s
20. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +36.828s
21. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +38.203s
22. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +38.542s
23. Will Powell, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +41.861s
24. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +52.186s
25. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +54.757s
26. Jade Edwards, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +55.852s
27.Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1 Lap