Ash Sutton was pleased to leave Thruxton as the new points leader of the British Touring Car Championship, after scoring a 26-point swing in the title race as erstwhile leader Colin Turkington hit troubles.
Sutton had not expected the Hampshire circuit to be his best this year, with the circuit historically being a strong venue for front-wheel drive cars.
The Laser Tools Racing driver put his Infiniti in a creditable 11th in qualifying, although two tenths of a second behind the quickest rear-wheel car of Turkington.
Sutton’s fortunes received a huge boost in race one, though, when his main rival Turkington, who he had already passed on track, was forced to retire as Sutton also fought his way up to sixth in the race.
That result moved Sutton into the series lead by just one point, but further progress was to be made from a stronger starting position in race two.
With less ballast on board, Sutton worked his way up to fourth but his progress was thereafter limited, as the top three finished in the same order as race one and held firm position.
Race three saw the top eight reversed, meaning Sutton would start from eighth. The 2017 champion again worked his way up to fourth, battling with both Tom Ingram and Rory Butcher, opening up his championship advantage to 16 points.
“It has been another great weekend for everyone at Laser Tools Racing and BMR Engineering,” said Sutton.
“Coming here we knew it wasn’t going to be our strongest track so to come away with three top five finishes and the lead in the points is a fantastic.
“We had a bit of luck with Colin having his issue in race one, but we maximised everything that we could to basically get a 26-point swing in the championship.
“It was tough out there, out the back of the circuit in a rear-wheel-drive was certainly lively.
“Going to Silverstone in a few days’ time with maximum ballast won’t be ideal but we have the points in the bag and also I think the car will be a little better suited there than it has here.”