Ash Sutton says he ‘couldn’t have asked for more’ after moving to the top of the British Touring Car Championship standings at Silverstone with a solid points score.
Sutton now holds a five-point advantage over MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill at the top of the drivers’ standings, having finished sixth, fourth and second in Sunday’s trio of races.
The NAPA Racing UK driver admitted that he had gone into the weekend with some feelings of uncertainty, given that the Ford Focus had not performed that strongly in terms of top speed last year.
But with a little help from team-mate Dan Cammish on race day, Sutton leaves the Northamptonshire circuit having moved to the top of the standings, even though his points haul was only the fourth biggest in the field over the weekend.
“After how the year started, how it’s been going in the second half, to be leading the championship now at the perfect time, I couldn’t ask for more,” said Sutton to TouringCars.Net.
“The team have turned it around, turned the car around and I’ve just been able to work with them and we’ve got in a really good place now.
“We came here with a bit of doubt in the mind, accepting that it was almost not our strongest track. We know we’ve not got a super slippery car in a straight line. If you look at what Jake could do in it last year it didn’t bode very well, but we managed to turn that around.
“I was seventh in qualifying and couldn’t have asked any more than that. Then in the races we just chipped away and pulled the points in.
“When someone is on their back foot you’ve just got to have your best foot forward and I feel like we’ve done that. We couldn’t have done any more this weekend with what we’ve got.
“The Hyundai looked just a little bit too strong for us and the BMW looked strong as well.
“We had a perfect weekend in our eyes. We’ve had an 11-point swing from being six down to five up so it’s been a good weekend.”
Sutton praised the positive effect that team-mate Cammish has had on his championship campaign, admitting to feeling a sense of relief in knowing that he had support up there in the races when it mattered.
“It’s been nice, especially in that last race when I got in front of Dan, it was almost like I don’t need to worry in my mirrors – it was almost that sensation of a wing man.
“It meant that I could keep focussing on our job in hand. It’s been mega, Dan has been phenomenal as a team-mate in supporting my campaign.”
Looking ahead to the finale in wo weeks’ time, Sutton is feeling comfortable about his chances of claiming a record-equalling fourth BTCC title.
“Ultimately I’ve always gone very well at Brands. The Ford has gone well there in the past, so we’ve just got to see what the weather is doing and see how we get on.
“It’s a different sensation I’m getting at the minute. Obviously, I’ve never been there in this position in a front-wheel drive car, so there’s a little bit of an unknown factor to it.
“But other than that I’m very comfortable with the situation. I know what the day [requires] and the demands it has. I’ve been through it three or four times now and come out the other side successful.”