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Ashley Sutton pleased with third at rear-wheel drive stronghold

Ashley Sutton admitted he was pleased to qualify third for the first of today’s triple header of British Touring Car Championship races at Croft after the MG RCIB Insurance Racing driver clocked a fastest lap time of 1:24.008 around the 2.13 mile Croft circuit.

Sutton, who had his initial effort disallowed for track limits and fell to the bottom of the timesheets, made a sensational comeback to post the second fastest time with a third of the session remaining.

Though he was eventually pipped to the runner-up slot by Eurotech Racing’s Daniel Lloyd, Sutton will now head up the second row in his MG6 GT alongside two-time champion, Jason Plato. Colin Turkington claimed a second consecutive pole position for the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing outfit.

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At a circuit tipped to strongly favor rear-wheel drive cars such as the ballast-free Levorg GT and the BMW 125i M-Sport, which claimed all three race victories at the Yorkshire venue in 2015, Sutton underlined his pleasure at putting his front-wheel drive MG in the mix with the other championship headliners.

“If someone would have told me before the weekend that I would qualify third at a predominantly rear-wheel drive track I would definitely have taken it. I’m over the moon.” he commented.

The reigning Renault Clio Cup UK champion and current Jack Sears Trophy leader also provided an insight into what was a difficult session for him, but ultimately ended on a positive note.

“I made a mistake on my first lap.” explained Sutton.

“We then put on another new set of tyres and went back out. I was on a really good lap, which was two tenths faster than the one that eventually put me third, but I lost the car again at turn 12.”

“I had to make quite a big save, which hurt the tyres a little bit, and then the next lap was the one that got me the grid position.”

With a number of the other championship protagonists around him on the grid, Sutton will have his work cut out to remain on the rostrum at the chequered flag. However, if his fledgling season in the BTCC is proving anything, it is to not underestimate the potential of new talent.

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