Ash Sutton clings on to claim first win of the season in race two

NAPA Racing’s Ash Sutton finally scored his first win of the British Touring Car Championship season in race two at Knockhill, as he continued his intense battling with MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill.

In contrast to the day’s opening race, race one winner Hill held the advantage through the opening laps, including managing a safety car restart after the race had to be neutralised for two laps after Team HARD’s Will Powell and BTC Racing’s Jason Plato came together at the chicane, ending Powell’s race with broken left-rear suspension.

Hill looked to be extending a gap of almost a second when he made a mistake at the chicane on lap five, running wide through the gravel and allowing Sutton to sneak by into the lead.

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Hill kept with Sutton though, and by lap 18 he was closing in for another attack, only to again run wiode and allow fellow WSR driver Colin Turkington into second.

However, the Team BMW man then made his own error at the first corner two laps later, allowing Hill to move back into second.

Hill closed in on Sutton for the lead, and on the final lap he tried to pass on the run to the finish line, only for Sutton to aggressively defend the outside line and force Hill into the pit entry, with Sutton eventually claiming his first win of 2022 by just 0.141 seconds in the closest finish for the past five years.

Hill was second, whilst Turkington again completed the podium, meaning he moves up to second in the drivers’ standings, just four points shy of Tom Ingram.

Excelr8 Motorsport’s Ingram took fourth, the Hyundai driver gaining two places at the start to move into that position, where he remained thereafter as he gradually fell to over two seconds from the podium places.

Team Dynamics’ Gordon Shedden was fifth, a good start moving him up to sixth initially before the Honda driver passed Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley for the place on lap 20.

Toyota’s Rory Butcher and Ciceley Motorsport’s George Gamble followed through on the next lap to claim sixth and seventh respectively, leaving Jelley to take the chequered flag in eighth.

After the race, BTCC legend John Cleland randomly drew the top seven to be reversed for the race three grid, putting Gamble on pole position.

The top ten was completed by NAPA Racing’s Dan Cammish, who ran seventh at the mid-stage before then losing out to both Butcher and Gamble in quick succession, and Excelr8’s Tom Chilton.

Ricky Collard, who had brought his Toyota home in the top ten in race one, was this time 11th, ahead of Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat, who moved up one place at the start past Bobby Thompson.

Ciceley’s Adam Morgan had looked set to take 11th, but the BMW driver ultimately finished in 18th after he lost seven places on the penultimate lap of the race.

Erstwhile championship leader Josh Cook once again struggled for pace, finishing in just 13th ahead of the second Infiniti of Dexter Patterson.

Thompson failed to finish due to a front-left puncture, whilst Power Maxed Racing’s Ash Hand was also a retirement following contact with Rick Parfitt Jr’s Infiniti.

BTC Racing’s Plato was the last classified finisher, the two-time champion having been pushed into the tyre stack at the chicane by Powell on the opening lap, forcing him to make a pitstop.

Race three is scheduled to get underway at 17:10 BST.

Race result

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 1 M Ashley SUTTON NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 26 23:53.655 51.640 2
2 24 M Jake HILL ROKiT MB Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport 26 0.141 51.593 1
3 50 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport 26 0.758 51.370 3
4 80 M Tom INGRAM Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com Hyundai i30 Fastback N 26 3.969 51.770 6
5 52 M Gordon SHEDDEN Halfords Racing with Cataclean Honda Civic Type R 26 10.196 51.818 7
6 6 M Rory BUTCHER Toyota GAZOO Racing UK Toyota Corolla GR Sport 26 11.269 51.881 8
7 42 I George GAMBLE Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport 26 11.567 51.786 5
8 12 M Stephen JELLEY Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport 26 12.425 51.850 4
9 9 M Dan CAMMISH NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 26 14.629 51.725 9
10 3 M Tom CHILTON Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com Hyundai i30 Fastback N 26 15.318 52.090 11
11 21 M Ricky COLLARD Toyota GAZOO Racing UK Toyota Corolla GR Sport 26 18.137 51.976 10
12 16 I Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 26 19.450 51.917 13
13 66 I Josh COOK Rich Energy BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R 26 22.533 51.928 15
14 17 I Dexter PATTERSON Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 26 22.896 51.971 20
15 32 M Daniel ROWBOTTOM Halfords Racing with Cataclean Honda Civic Type R 26 23.750 51.665 28
16 40 I Árón TAYLOR-SMITH Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing CUPRA Leon 26 25.655 52.097 16
17 77 M Sam OSBORNE Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan Ford Focus ST 26 29.407 52.259 17
18 33 I Adam MORGAN Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport 26 30.007 51.833 14
19 777 I Michael CREES CarStore Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 26 30.682 52.410 26
20 99 I Jade EDWARDS Rich Energy BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R 26 36.071 52.297 22
21 48 M Ollie JACKSON Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan Ford Focus ST 26 37.311 52.546 23
22 123 M Daniel LLOYD Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com Hyundai i30 Fastback N 26 37.647 52.331 19
23 96 M Jack BUTEL Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com Hyundai i30 Fastback N 26 39.048 52.605 29
24 28 I Nicolas HAMILTON Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing CUPRA Leon 26 43.603 52.767 24
25 62 I Rick PARFITT JR Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing Infiniti Q50 25 + 1 LAP 52.434 18
26 11 I Jason PLATO Rich Energy BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R 24 + 2 LAPS 51.964 27
R 97 I Ash HAND CarStore Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 21 DNF 52.422 25
R 19 I Bobby THOMPSON Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero CUPRA Leon 12 DNF 51.971 12
R 20 I Will POWELL Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero CUPRA Leon 1 DNF N/A 21
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