Ash Sutton expects Team BMR to face a greater challenge from behind in the second British Touring Car Championship clash at Croft after their success ballast is applied.
Sutton put in a confident drive to edge out team-mate Jason Plato by eight tenths of a second to win race one, claiming his and the team’s first podium and victory of 2018 in the process.
The downside to that success is a full quota of 75 and 68 kilograms of success ballast respectively on board the Subaru Levorg pairing for race two.
Speaking to TouringCars.net, Sutton hopes the backwards step he anticipates is minimal to allow him to keep bringing in championship points whilst the performance is on his side.
“It’s a big re-think, nobody knows what to expect,” admitted the reigning champion.
“We know we’re going to take a backwards step, but it’s by how much. Hopefully it’s only a small one, but we’ll find out.”
He also revealed he used the majority of his tyre life in a bed to extend the gap early doors to Plato in the opening race, but kept enough performance back in hand to fend off his team-mate’s late charge.
“To be honest with you the plan was to use as much tyre as I could at the beginning to break the gap because I knew if Jason [Plato] got into second my life was going to become a little bit harder, he was on the better tyre of the two of us,” said Sutton.
“You’d like to think the harder tyre would hold him but I used too much of that in the beginning. He was coming but we a little bit left for one lap to break that gap open.”
He also admitted a sense of relief as he looks to kick on and start mounting a serious defence of his crown.
He also felt that, if not for an early safety car, the margin of victory could have been more comfortable.
“We needed that, especially after the start we’ve had. Trying to defend your title with no wins to your name is not right. I’m pleased with that overall result.
“Initially before the safety car, that start was the huge bit. It’s a shame the safety car came out because I think it would have worked out slightly differently.”
The second race in Yorkshire gets underway at 14:45 BST.