Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Ash Sutton says the final laps of race two of the 2019 British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch were the hardest he’s ever had to defend after he held to second by just 0.022s from Adam Morgan.
Sutton started the second encounter ninth, and rapidly advanced through the field to challenge race one winner Josh Cook on lap 14, making a bold move for the lead at Graham Hill Bend.
Team BMW’s Andrew Jordan capitalised and followed him through, before eventually passing Sutton into Paddock Hill Bend two laps later.
Sutton told TouringCars.Net he could do little to defend the lead from Jordan, who had superior straight-line speed in the new, aerodynamically sleek 3 Series.
“It was definitely an interesting one. The battle with Andy [Jordan], I couldn’t really do much about,” said Sutton. “It was just pure straight-line speed.
“But other than that, I’ll be honest with you the last four laps were probably the hardest last laps I’ve ever had to defend.
“It was never going to be easy but the tyre drop-off was a bit more than we expected.”
After Jordan passed for the lead, Sutton’s soft-compound Dunlop tyres then wore significantly and he dropped back into the clutches of Adam Morgan, Jake Hill, Stephen Jelley and Tom Ingram.
A close scrap ensued, and Sutton admits it was hard to keep up with who was challenging him for second, before he beat Morgan in a tight drag race to the line.
“I actually lost count of who was behind me at one point! All I knew is I kept getting a lot of bumps from behind,” he said.
“The car definitely needed some TLC after!”
Sutton will carry 48kg of Ballast into race three, from which he will start 10th, but believes the preferred harder tyre will nullify that disadvantage.
“We’re going to have a bit more weight, but we’re actually going to be on the better tyre,” Sutton said.
“The soft tyre doesn’t seem to be a good option, so fingers crossed it all clicks and we can make progress.
“It’s just about collecting points now, that’s the aim.”