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Ashley Sutton recovers to lead home first MG 1-2 in three seasons

Ashley Sutton recovered from a poor start, and then worked well with his MG team-mate Josh Cook to narrowly claim a one-two finish in the first British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Silverstone ahead of Tom Ingram.

Though Ingram initially made the best start from the front row and claimed the race lead into Copse, Sutton remained in touch with the Toyota Avensis and reclaimed the top spot with a lunging move into Luffield at a third distance.

The Jack Sears Trophy leader then made use of his commanding position at the front to back Ingram into his MG team-mate Josh Cook, who recovered himself from a poor start to take third back from Andrew Jordan despite a sideways moment into Luffield after the two made contact.

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A tap from Cook behind sent Ingram wide into the same corner at half distance, allowing the former through into the runner-up spot and, though Cook would later catch Sutton in the closing stages of the contest, the trio maintained the status quo.

Rob Austin emerged the victor of a narrow contest for fifth with Adam Morgan as the two-time race winner enjoyed one of his strongest showings of the season, eventually passing the WIX Racing pilot four laps from home.

Problems for the Halfords Yuasa Racing duo mean that, incredibly, Sam Tordoff extends his championship lead to eight points despite starting a lowly 16th; the success ballast-laden BMW 125i M-Sport managed to keep the ship steady amid the carnage to pick his way through into 13th, and will start race two devoid of his ballast as a result.

His closest challenger Matt Neal picked up contact in the lower reaches of the top ten at the end of the race, whilst team-mate and defending champion Gordon Shedden was forced to pit for repairs at half distance and consequentially fell a lap behind the field.

Silverline Subaru BMR Racing also recovered from a below-par qualifying to salvage some solid points. Colin Turkington, who was forced to start 29th after a penalty for incurring his third strike of the season, eventually made his way through to 10th, whilst team-mate Jason Plato recovered to 13th after losing nine places on the opening lap.

Martin Depper will have been disappointed to retire from 11th after contact with Rob Collard and Aiden Moffat, with the Eurotech Racing Type-R taking to the grass without it’s front left tyre. Though the tyre then travelled across Becketts corner and back onto the racing line, further incidents were luckily avoided.

So with the Honda duo at the rear of the field for race two and Sam Tordoff on the verges of the top ten with no ballast on board, the smart money would be on the 27-year old to further extend his title advantage in race two.

Whether this championship battle has another twist in store for us today remains to be seen; though with the British Touring Car Championship having opened it’s account for Silverstone this year in lively fashion, you certainly wouldn’t bet against it.

Race two gets underway at 14:32.

UPDATE: Although it was originally a jubilant result for the MG team, their celebrations were quickly muted after both drivers were later excluded from the race result for an irregularity with the rear-wing on their cars, promoting Ingram to the race win.

Amended race result

1 80 Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 22 21:49.891 58.923 2
2 77 Andrew JORDAN Motorbase Performance Ford Focus 22 3.478 59.046 4
3 11 Rob AUSTIN Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis 22 7.464 58.967 6
4 33 Adam MORGAN WIX Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 22 10.121 58.923 5
5 24 Jake HILL RCIB Insurance Racing Toyota Avensis 22 16.57 59.142 11
6 40 Árón SMITH BKR Volkswagen CC 22 18.131 59.076 9
7 100 C Rob COLLARD Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport 22 18.307 58.955 24
8 4 M Colin TURKINGTON Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Subaru Levorg GT 22 18.431 59.120 29
9 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 22 18.554 59.141 12
10 99 M Jason PLATO Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Subaru Levorg GT 22 18.785 58.926 15
11 600 C Sam TORDOFF Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport 22 19.928 59.205 16
12 31 C Jack GOFF Team IHG Rewards Club BMW 125i M Sport 22 20.135 59.179 17
13 53 Hunter ABBOTT Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze 22 20.139 59.222 8
14 48 Ollie JACKSON AmD Tuning Audi S3 22 22.96 59.341 23
15 55 Jeff SMITH Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 22 23.52 59.220 18
16 38 Mark HOWARD BKR Volkswagen CC 22 29.944 59.463 30
17 7 Mat JACKSON Motorbase Performance Ford Focus 22 31.346 59.254 20
18 12 Mike EPPS RCIB Insurance Racing Toyota Avensis 22 39.35 59.572 28
19 95 Stewart LINES Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus 22 52.021 1:00.180 25
20 303 Matt SIMPSON Speedworks Motorsport Honda Civic Type R 22 56.575 1:00.308 31
21 17 Dan WELCH Goodestone Racing Proton Persona 21 1 Lap 59.422 21
22 84 Kelvin FLETCHER Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze 21 1 Lap 1:00.489 19
23 52 M Gordon SHEDDEN Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 21 1 Lap 59.349 10
R 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 21 1 Lap 59.345 7
R 39 M Warren SCOTT Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Subaru Levorg GT 20 2 Laps 59.362 13
R 20 M James COLE Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Subaru Levorg GT 20 2 Laps 59.160 22
R 30 Martin DEPPER Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 19 3 Laps 59.239 14
NC 34 Tony GILHAM TLC Racing Toyota Avensis 14 8 Laps 1:00.471 26
NC 14 Alex MARTIN Dextra Racing with Team Parker Ford Focus 5 17 Laps 1:00.635 27
EX 116 M Ashley SUTTON MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 22 21:48.713 58.923 1
EX 66 M Josh COOK MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 22 0.967 58.910 3

Complete race results

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