Ash Sutton hails ‘phenomenal’ qualifying result given limited Infiniti running

Ash Sutton hails ‘phenomenal’ qualifying result given limited Infiniti running

Photo: BTCC

Laser Tools Racing’s Ash Sutton has praised his team for doing a “phenomenal job” after qualifying third on the grid for the opening British Touring Car Championship race of 2020 at Donington Park.

The 2017 champion has been incredibly short on track time heading into the 2020 season, but managed a strong Saturday at the Leicestershire circuit with practice form translating into third position in qualifying.

With such limited running – particularly in dry conditions – Sutton was pleased to be up at the sharp end while he continues to get to grips with the Infiniti and find a setup he is comfortable with.

“It’s our first proper run out of it today in the dry so the Laser Tools Infiniti Q50 has done me proud today,” Sutton told ITV.

“It wasn’t quite right, we’re obviously still tinkering, still trying to get in that window. But we’ve delivered when it matters and to be standing P3, second row, inside for turn one it’s going to be interesting.

“We’ve done a handful of laps, we did seven laps at the media day. We did one session at the tyre test on the first day, but that’s it.

“We’ve calculated it up to be between 15 and 20 laps, so to roll it out today and try to actually dig in and try to dial in a setup on it, it’s been key.

“It’s still not right, it’s still got some work where we need to improve on little key areas, and that means its only going to get faster.”

Sutton was particularly pleased to be up the front with polesitter Colin Turkington and front-row starter Dan Cammish, given the pair have vast amounts more experience in their respective machines compared to him.

He believes his Infiniti Q50 should be strong in the race, but admits the pace over a race distance is an unknown.

“I think we’ve actually got a good race car, it’s just trying to live on that 99/100 per cent limit,” he explained.

“You’re just lacking those last few things on the car. The boys have worked phenomenal today to deliver what we’ve got and I know it’s been hard work trying to play catch up when Colin [Turkington] and Dan [Cammish] have got a couple of seasons under their belt.

“It’s always hard coming in with limited running but they’ve done a mega job, they’ve done me proud. They gave me a car to get me where I am today so that’s what matters.”

The opening race of the 2020 British Touring Car Championship is set to get underway at 11:10 BST from the Leicestershire circuit.