Ash Sutton endured ‘another tough day at the office’ in the British Touring Car Championship’s second visit to Thruxton of the season, with the Subaru driver only able to scrape two top ten finishes.
Saturday saw Sutton qualify his Subaru in 12th, just under half a second off the pace, which put him in the middle of the pack for the first of Sunday’s three races.
From there, the 2017 champion was involved in a race-long fight for the lower top ten places, ultimately taking the chequered flag in ninth.
Race two saw Sutton almost lose control of his Levorg at the high-speed Church corner half-way through the race, as he fought on the very edge of the car’s capability, ultimately losing him ground on his way to 11th.
In a rain-affected final race of the weekend, Sutton fought to another ninth-place finish, and the three points hauls from the weekend mean that Sutton remains sixth in the drivers’ points standings, six points closer to leader Colin Turkington than he was going into the Hampshire event.
“That was another tough day at the office,” said Sutton. “From the start of the weekend I was on the absolute limit and I think the only way I could have gone any quicker was if the track was a bit wider!
“Coming into the weekend we knew it was going to be difficult but there really was nothing more to extract from it; our qualifying trim is our race trim.
“I had to really get my elbows out to stay in the fight, and that huge moment in race two was quite something as well.
“One lap pace is what kept us in the mix, and through the corners we were able to remain in the hunt as the chassis is mega – it’s getting swallowed up on the straights that just makes the racing that much harder.”
Sutton is looking forward to the next event at Knockhill in Scotland in mid-September, where he expects the circuit to be more suited to the rear-wheel drive Subaru.
“Everyone at Adrian Flux Subaru Racing is doing an amazing job and we will keep going. I’m not sure how Knockhill will go for us but we will give it everything we have; the saving grace there is that the soft tyre will be available to use and we’re normally strong on that.”