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Ash Sutton: Steering wheel problem denied second row start for opening race

Team WRT’s Ash Sutton has explained that a “communication error” with the start button on his steering wheel in his Volkswagen Golf GTI meant he failed to take the start of the opening TCR Europe contest at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

The 2017 BTCC champion, who returns to the series after his debut in Barcelona last year, qualified fourth in his WRT-run Volkswagen Golf.

As the cars began the green flag lap, Sutton could not start the car up due to a “communication error” between the steering wheel and the engine, meaning he was forced to start from the pit lane.

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“Unfortunately it’s not gone to plan. We’d have loved to have joined in there, but it wasn’t the case,” said Sutton.

“The team are still analysing the problem now and having a little look, but I believe it was just a communication error with the steering wheel.

“Obviously with the start button on the steering wheel, it never got to start and we just couldn’t fire up.”

After the marshals wheeled the car off the grid and into the pits, the team completed a full reset on the car, and Sutton was able to join the race from the pit lane.

A safety car on the opening lap meant he was able to catch the pack and would eventually finish 19th.

After being denied the chance to battle at the sharp end in the opening race, Sutton is looking forward to the opportunity to score solid points in the second race.

“It’s good fun, isn’t it? It’s definitely something I enjoy,” he said.

“We’ll try to make up positions and see where we go from there, but obviously the boys we’re going to be surrounded by, it’s not going to be easy.”

The final race of the weekend for TCR Europe at Spa-Francorchamps is scheduled to get underway at 12:00 CEST tomorrow [9 June].

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