Ashley Sutton brands podium ‘a step in the right direction’

Ashley Sutton brands podium ‘a step in the right direction’

Ashley Sutton

Ashley Sutton has described his podium finish during the second British Touring Car Championship race at Donington Park as ‘a step in the right direction’.

Starting in the midfield, the BRDC Rising Star put in a superlative drive to haul his Subaru Levorg GT to third.

Had Matt Simpson’s Honda Civic Type R not been stranded at the final chicane, Sutton would also have claimed second from Rob Collard’s BMW at the last, but yellow flags forced the Subaru to hold station.

The result underlined Sutton’s pace after he had claimed provisional pole position for qualifying on Saturday before being excluded for a turbo overboost.

“It was definitely a step in the right direction,” said Sutton “It’s nice to be back where we belong and where the car deserves to be and all the effort that the guys have put in – I can’t fault them, they’ve worked their backsides off all winter and between Brands and now to make the car the best it can be in the circumstances, and I think it’s fair to say we’ve dialled that in.”

He was also pragmatic about being frustrated by yellow flags at the final corner, affirming he would rather take the lower step on the podium than risk any investigation. Rob Austin was excluded for a similar incident at the previous round at Brands Hatch.

“I had to be clever in the situation. I was ahead of Collard before we got to the yellow flag but there was a slight, shall we say, ‘bump and run’ to get that position.

“I was just being clever in the situation and working out ‘do I risk it for a couple of points and maybe be disqualified, or do I just settle for third, we’re on the podium?’ so I chose the latter option.”

Sutton also told he hopes rain hits Donington Park as expected before the final BTCC encounter, ensuring as per the regulations he does not have to use the harder compound ‘option’ tyre.

“Fingers crossed. The wind picked up and the clouds are dark. I am praying. That would just top my weekend so far!”