Ash Sutton took a sixth victory of the season and extended his lead in the British Touring Car Championship standings in the middle contest at Rockingham.
The Adrian Flux Subaru Racing driver was gifted the lead in what appeared to be a pre-meditated move by pole-sitter and race one winner James Cole at the Deene hairpin, before extending his advantage as his ballast laden team-mate delayed those behind.
The result ensures he moves 10 points ahead of BMW’s Colin Turkington in the championship standings with seven races left to run.
“I think we just over-worked the tyres at the start and they just fell away from halfway onwards, luckily we had the gap,” admitted Sutton.
He denied the team had planned their switch for the race lead at the start.
“Actually, we were told we could race; I had a very poor start and just did my normal ‘living on the edge’, outside stuff. There were no pre-discussions, it was all done off my own back.”
Mat Jackson finished second after scything his way through – and surviving a near race-ending clash with the MG of Josh Cook – but was ultimately powerless to reduce Sutton’s 3.8 second advantage by the time he had clean air to pursue the Subaru.
The clash with Cook typified the robust nature of the series, with the Motorbase driver attempting to run the MG to the apex on the exit of Deene on lap eight, before Cook attacked the inside at Yentwood and the two cars made contact, sending Jackson wide into the gravel and gifting Honda’s Matt Neal third on the road behind Cook.
The MG drivers’ race then unraveled through no fault of his own, with Neal lunging to the inside at Deene before failing to make the corner, taking both cars straight on. Cook rejoined at the rear of the field, whilst Neal retired on the spot.
That promoted Jackson back into second and allowed Turkington through into third to minimise the points loss to Sutton in the standings.
Jason Plato surged through to fourth for Subaru after starting tenth, making consistent progress throughout the contest.
Jack Goff can count himself unlucky to have fallen foul of the switch for the lead at Deene on the opening lap, having temporarily run second through the first corner, however the Eurotech Racing driver consoled himself with fifth at the chequered flag.
Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan continued his return to form with sixth in the Mercedes A-Class, whilst consistent drives from Andrew Jordan and Rob Collard saw the BMW pairing finish seventh and eighth respectively.
Tom Ingram put in one of the drives of the season with a meteoric rise from last on the grid to finish ninth, with Chris Smiley a career-best tenth for BTC Norlin Racing.
James Cole ended up 13th several hard-fought duels in a ballast-laden car, whilst disaster struck championship contender Gordon Shedden after contact with Rob Austin’s Toyota at Deene left him with broken front-right suspension.
When Shedden’s car came to a rest on lap three by the side of the circuit, a brief two-lap safety car period was required.
The other Team Dynamics-run Honda of Matt Simpson also endured a torrid race, ending the race in the gravel trap between the Deene hairpin and Yentwood turn after nine laps.
The final race gets underway at 16:40, with Jordan drawn onto reverse grid pole position alongside Morgan, by Series Director, Alan Gow.
|1||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||18||26:57.861||1:24.011||2|
|2||3||Mat JACKSON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||18||2.438||1:24.245||7|
|3||4||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||18||2.730||1:25.173||6|
|4||99||M||Jason PLATO||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||18||7.110||1:25.157||10|
|5||31||Jack GOFF||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||18||9.513||1:24.863||3|
|6||33||Adam MORGAN||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||18||10.101||1:25.476||8|
|7||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||18||10.569||1:25.311||12|
|8||5||M||Rob COLLARD||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||18||10.756||1:24.991||17|
|9||80||Tom INGRAM||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||18||14.802||1:24.901||32|
|10||22||Chris SMILEY||BTC Norlin Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||18||15.349||1:25.449||20|
|11||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||18||15.913||1:25.565||21|
|12||48||Ollie JACKSON||AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||18||18.138||1:25.266||14|
|13||20||M||James COLE||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||18||18.466||1:25.460||1|
|14||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||18||19.262||1:25.504||19|
|15||40||M||Árón TAYLOR-SMITH||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||18||20.029||1:25.383||16|
|16||2||M||Tom CHILTON||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||18||20.261||1:25.541||11|
|17||24||Jake HILL||TAG Racing||Volkswagen CC||18||21.624||1:25.737||24|
|18||10||Ant WHORTON-EALES||AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||18||22.278||1:24.508||18|
|19||6||Rory BUTCHER||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||18||23.389||1:26.026||25|
|20||30||Martin DEPPER||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||18||24.479||1:26.083||22|
|21||61||Will BURNS||Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing||Volkswagen CC||18||29.679||1:26.085||23|
|22||7||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||18||30.884||1:26.300||26|
|23||17||Dave NEWSHAM||BTC Norlin Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||18||31.330||1:25.537||13|
|24||39||Brett SMITH||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||18||35.011||1:26.097||27|
|25||95||Stewart LINES||Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||18||43.605||1:26.864||29|
|26||11||Rob AUSTIN||Handy Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||17||1 Lap||1:24.946||31|
|27||12||Mike EPPS||Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing||Volkswagen CC||15||3 Laps||1:26.166||15|
|R||66||Josh COOK||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||13||DNF||1:24.601||4|
|R||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||11||DNF||1:24.552||5|
|R||303||M||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||9||DNF||1:25.817||28|
|R||52||M||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||2||DNF||1:26.346||30|
|R||28||M||Josh PRICE||A-Plan Academy||Subaru Levorg GT||1||DNF||1:44.360||9|