Ash Sutton was pleased with his performances in the British Touring Car Championship at Croft, where the series leader was in the top ten in all three races, culminating with a race three podium.
Sutton carried the maximum 75 kg of success ballast into the event for leading the drivers’ championship, and as such the Laser Tools Racing driver could manage only eighth in a closely-fought qualifying session on Saturday.
Sutton was unable to use his rear-wheel drive to gain an early advantage in race one, gaining just one place at the start when BMW’s Tom Oliphant went off.
He then passed the BMW of Adam Morgan on lap three to claim sixth, where he would finish the race.
Shedding 42 kg, more than half, of his ballast for race two, Sutton was in the thick of a bruising encounter. The two-time champion actually dropped to eighth on lap 11, before shooting back up to fourth just two laps later, ultimately taking the chequered flag in fifth in his battle-scarred Infiniti.
For the reverse-grid final race Sutton lined up in third and despite applying race-long pressure to the Honda of Gordon Shedden he was unable to find a way past, claiming his seventh podium finish of the season thus far.
“It’s been another solid points-collecting weekend and to come away from Croft still 29 points in the lead of the championship is mega,” said Sutton.
“Race one went as planned by moving up the order despite carrying full weight, however I had hoped for a bit more in race two.
“It all got a bit out of hand at times in terms of the amount of contact that was being dished out and although I had the hunger to move further forward, fifth was the best we could manage.
“To come away with a podium in race three was good. I clouted the kerb at turn one on the first lap and from then on, I had a big vibration on the right front which I had to manage.
“I had a couple goes on Gordon, but I couldn’t prise open a gap; third with the fastest lap is a great result.
“I’ve got to give a huge amount of credit to everyone at Laser Tools Racing though, it has been an epic weekend for the team.
“I’m really happy for Aiden [Moffat] getting pole, a win and a second and Carl [Boardley] also as he won the Jack Sears Trophy – we’ve got some real momentum behind us now!
“We head to Silverstone this coming weekend and I’ll go there with the same mindset as always, to maintain or extend my lead in the points.
“It’s a circuit I enjoy and carrying the weight won’t hurt us as bad as it does at other circuits so I’m optimistic I can score big.”