Ash Sutton soaks up pressure from Colin Turkington to convert pole to victory in race one

Laser Tools Racing’s Ash Sutton soaked up plenty of pressure from defending champion Colin Turkington in the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill.

After securing Infiniti’s first ever pole position for race one, Sutton led the opening lap comfortably from standings leader Turkington who had jumped front row starter Jake Hill before facing immediate pressure from the Honda racer.

That battle then came to a head at the hairpin at the end of the opening lap, as 2019 runner up Dan Cammish swooped around the outside of both Hill and then Turkington before the BMW racer squeezed him onto the gravel.

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Cammish then fell down to sixth position after losing traction, allowing Tom Ingram’s Toyota Corolla and Rory Butcher’s Ford Focus ST through for fourth and fifth positions respectively.

The safety car was then called on the fifth tour of the 1.27-mile circuit after Josh Cook appeared to suffer a suspension failure on the entry to the chicane, firing his Honda Civic Type R into the barriers and sustaining heavy damage.

Cook had been battling with Tom Oliphant, swooping around the outside of Duffus Dip with a brave move before ending up in the barriers later in the lap.

When the race resumed on lap nine, there was immediate contact behind the restarting train of cars between Andy Neate’s Ford and James Gornall’s Audi, with both cars retiring after heavy damage.

Luckily both cars recovered to the pits before the charging back came back through, with Sutton’s 1.7 second lead pre-safety car brought down to a matter of tenths between himself and title rival Turkington.

In the end Sutton kept the four-time champion at bay, securing fast lap en route to his second victory of the season, bringing the points deficit between them down to 13 points.

Kent racer Jake Hill secured his second podium of the season by holding off Ingram’s Toyota, while Butcher and Cammish held their positions in fifth and sixth.

Cammish’s team-mate Matt Neal fought through the pack to seventh position, rewarding the Team Dynamics squad with a solid result after a heavy crash in qualifying yesterday.

He fought his way past Aiden Moffat and then chased Mike Bushell, eventually forcing an error from the Power Maxed Racing driver at Duffus Dip, filling the Vauxhall Astra’s radiator with grass and subsequently causing a pit stop.

Brands Hatch race three winner Tom Oliphant also managed to eclipse Moffat at the latter’s home circuit, while Stephen Jelly pipped Tom Chilton’s BTC Racing Honda by just 0.011s at the line on the final lap after a tight scrap.

Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan, who won the final race last time out at Oulton Park, came home in 12th ahead of the Excelr8 Motorsport duo of Senna Proctor and Chris Smiley, while Carl Boardley’s BMW 1 Series completed the points-paying positions.

The second race of the British Touring Car Championship is scheduled to get underway at 13:30 BST.

Race result

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 116 I Ashley SUTTON Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 27 25:28.206 51.016 1
2 1 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport 27 0.350 51.181 3
3 24 I Jake HILL MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Honda Civic Type-R 27 3.541 51.233 2
4 80 M Tom INGRAM Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters Toyota Corolla 27 4.037 51.190 5
5 6 I Rory BUTCHER Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST 27 5.215 51.391 6
6 27 M Dan CAMMISH Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-R 27 6.049 51.366 4
7 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-R 27 8.683 51.569 9
8 15 M Tom OLIPHANT Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport 27 8.983 51.247 10
9 16 I Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 27 10.237 51.459 8
10 12 I Stephen JELLEY Team Parker Racing BMW 125i M Sport 27 12.457 51.450 12
11 3 I Tom CHILTON BTC Racing Honda Civic Type-R 27 12.468 51.456 13
12 32 I Adam MORGAN Carlube Triple R Racing with Mac Tools Mercedes-Benz A-Class 27 16.051 51.938 14
13 18 I Senna PROCTOR Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 Fastback N 27 16.529 51.862 15
14 22 I Chris SMILEY Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 Fastback N 27 18.382 51.881 19
15 41 I Carl BOARDLEY Team HARD. BMW 125i M Sport 27 20.902 51.661 17
16 48 I Ollie JACKSON Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST 27 21.756 51.926 21
17 777 I Michael CREES The Clever Baggers with BTC Racing Honda Civic Type-R 27 21.999 51.679 16
18 19 I Bobby THOMPSON GKR TradePriceCars.com Audi S3 27 24.555 51.683 20
19 4 I Sam OSBORNE MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Honda Civic Type-R 27 25.296 51.726 18
20 32 I Jack BUTEL Carlube Triple R Racing with Mac Tools Mercedes-Benz A-Class 27 28.561 52.220 25
21 21 I Mike BUSHELL Power Maxed Car Care Racing Vauxhall Astra 26 + 1 LAP 51.730 7
R 180 I James GORNALL GKR TradePriceCars.com Audi S3 9 DNF 51.862 23
R 44 I Andy NEATE Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST 9 DNF 52.313 24
R 66 I Josh COOK BTC Racing Honda Civic Type-R 4 DNF 52.210 11
R 31 I Jack GOFF RCIB Insurance Racing with Fox Transport Volkswagen CC 0 DNF N/A 22

BTCC points deficit after Round 10
Graphic: TouringCars.Net

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