Ash Sutton resists late pressure to lead home Subaru 1-2

Ash Sutton resists late pressure to lead home Subaru 1-2

Ash Sutton
Photo: BTCC Media

Ash Sutton resisted late-race pressure from Team BMR stable-mate Jason Plato to claim victory in the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Croft.

It marks the reigning champion and BMR’s first victory of the season, with the two Subaru Levorg GT machines split by 0.8 seconds at the chequered flag.

Plato bogged down initially at the start and surrendered the runner-up spot to the Pirtek-backed BMW 1-series of Andrew Jordan.

An early safety car after contact between Rob Austin and Josh Cook pitched the former over the bow of the Vauxhall Astra and into Stephen Jelley’s BMW 1-series.

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta was rendered a spectator on the spot, whilst Jelley limped back into the pits before parking up.

Once released, Sutton made a flawless restart whilst team-mate Plato attempted to find a way past 2013 series winner Jordan.

Hed eventually succeeded after squeezing through at the chicane, but not before Sutton had taken the opportunity to build an advantage of 1.8 seconds.

Though Plato cut his way through that deficit in the closing laps, he was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role in the team’s first podium finish, victory and 1-2 of the season.

Late drama handed Tom Ingram the final spot on the rostrum after Jordan – struggling with rear tyres – went off circuit at Clervaux, skimming through the gravel before rejoining further down the order.

Sam Tordoff came next in fourth behind the wheel of Motorbase’s Ford Focus RS, doing well to fend off the BMW pairing of championship leader Colin Turkington – who extends his points advantage by five points – and Rob Collard.

Cook piled on the pressure but managed no better than seventh, ahead of a season-best result for Dan Lloyd on his first race without ballast for joining the category late.

Matt Neal led Team Dynamics’ charge in ninth, though team-mate Dan Cammish only managed 19th via sizeable contact with Tom Chilton at the Hairpin.

Jordan would eventually round out the top ten, leading home Brands Hatch race-winner Senna Proctor.

James Cole and Tom Chilton made it all three Motorbase machines in the points in 12th and 15th, sandwiching the AmD pairing of Rory Butcher and Ollie Jackson in the MG6 and Audi S3 respectively.

It proved a poor affair by and large for the majority of championship contenders, with Jack Goff only classified 21st for Eurotech Racing and Adam Morgan forced to retire with suspension damage.

Ingram has, as a result, leapt up to second in the points, and will look to thin Turkington’s advantage in the second contest at 14:45 BST.

Race result

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 1 M Ashley SUTTON Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 17 26:50.484 1:25.633 1
2 99 M Jason PLATO Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 17 0.863 1:25.725 2
3 80 Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 17 8.897 1:25.996 5
4 600 Sam TORDOFF Team GardX Racing with Motorbase Ford Focus RS 17 11.293 1:26.053 4
5 2 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 17 11.450 1:25.962 6
6 5 M Rob COLLARD Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 17 11.696 1:26.148 7
7 66 M Josh COOK Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra 17 12.304 1:26.062 9
8 26 Daniel LLOYD BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic Type R 17 16.247 1:26.111 11
9 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 17 18.222 1:26.032 15
10 77 M Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 125i M Sport 17 19.114 1:25.784 3
11 18 M Senna PROCTOR Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra 17 20.177 1:26.582 14
12 20 James COLE Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 17 23.658 1:26.128 12
13 6 Rory BUTCHER AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing MG 6 17 26.969 1:27.092 13
14 48 Ollie JACKSON AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 17 30.579 1:26.954 16
15 3 Tom CHILTON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 17 30.766 1:26.949 17
16 15 Tom OLIPHANT Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 17 31.436 1:26.896 18
17 22 Chris SMILEY BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic Type R 17 35.249 1:26.956 23
18 28 Josh PRICE Autoglym Academy Racing Subaru Levorg GT 17 38.086 1:26.654 21
19 27 M Dan CAMMISH Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 17 38.381 1:26.878 20
20 21 Mike BUSHELL Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing Volkswagen CC 17 38.504 1:27.052 19
21 31 Jack GOFF WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R 17 38.769 1:26.818 26
22 303 Matt SIMPSON Simpson Racing Honda Civic Type R 17 39.812 1:26.897 27
23 44 Michael CAINE Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars Volkswagen CC 17 40.311 1:27.034 29
24 19 Bobby THOMPSON Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars Volkswagen CC 17 47.813 1:26.922 30
25 23 Sam SMELT AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 17 49.022 1:27.576 32
26 12 Tom BOARDMAN AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing MG 6 17 57.132 1:27.242 31
R 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 14 DNF 1:26.769 24
R 39 Brett SMITH WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R 14 DNF 1:27.312 28
R 33 Adam MORGAN MAC Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 10 DNF 1:27.319 22
R 24 Jake HILL Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing Volkswagen CC 2 DNF 2:18.530 25
R 60 Stephen JELLEY Team Parker Racing BMW 125i M Sport 1 DNF N/A 8
R 11 Rob AUSTIN DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta 0 DNF N/A 10