Ash Sutton says that ‘a little bit more weight has been lifted’ off his shoulders after he claimed a trio of top eight finishes in the British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park to head into the season finale with a 32-point advantage.
Sutton, laden with the maximum 75 kg of success ballast, qualified his Laser Tools Racing Infiniti in ninth for the opening race on Sunday.
From there, the two-time champion made progress to seventh, and with a lighter car for race two he claimed fourth at the chequered flag, after a battling drive that saw him drop back to tenth at one stage.
In the reverse-grid race, Sutton was randomly drawn to start eighth, and he managed to end the race in eighth, crucially finishing ahead of championship rival Tom Ingram.
With his rivals continuing to battle amongst themselves for second, Sutton heads to the Brands Hatch season finale with a 32-point advantage.
Only three times in the past 20 years has the driver in front heading to the finale not won the title, and even when the deficit has been overturned, a gap of more than 11 points has never been overcome.
Having only lost four points to his rivals at Donington Park, Sutton knows that he is in prime position to secure a third BTCC title.
“It’s been a good day,” said Sutton. “Laser Tools Racing did a mega job all weekend and to come away with three points finishes is great.
“It was tough, and we had to dig deep for them, but we ultimately got the job done that we came here to do.
“We’ve only lost four points to the other title contenders, so I’m pleased to be going into the finale with a 32-point buffer.
“Brands Hatch is a circuit I love and I’m confident we will have a good package there, no matter what the weather may throw up.
“Every race that goes by is a little bit more weight lifted off my shoulders – it’s immense pressure at the moment. We just need to maintain the physical, mental and car performance for Brands now.
“I’m in the best position to be in with the points in the bag so it will be about keeping our nose clean, taking it one race at a time and fingers crossed that will be enough to wrap it all up. I can’t wait to get there!”