Photo: BTCC (Twitter)

BTCC: A mixed day of emotions for Sutton at Croft

The BTCC headed to Croft this weekend, which saw Ash Sutton take two wins, but he would retire in Race Three as championship rival Tom Ingram won.


In qualifying at Croft, Cammish would take the pole position with Napa Racing UK locking out the top three positions on the grid, with Rowbottom and Sutton starting second and third.

This would be Napa Racing UK’s sixth Pole in a row, as they have dominated a typically very competitive grid.

Josh Cook and Colin Turkington would be the two closest drivers to the Napa Fords, as they both sat +0.212s and +0.280s off Pole position respectively as they would start in fourth and fifth position.


Race One

The top two would start on soft tyres as Sutton and Cook would risk it by going for the mediums as Hill and Ingram behind would be on the faster softs.

George Gamble wouldn’t make the start as he would go down the pit road with an issue after the formation lap.

The Napa cars got away well with Cammish holding onto P1 and everyone slotting into positions to file through turn one in a reasonably conservative start.

Hill went up to fourth as he got a really good drive off of Tower, after forcing Turkington to take the defensive line, which allowed him to drive alongside Turkington and go around the outside into the Jim Clark Esses to take fifth position.

Michael Crees on his return to the BTCC would put his Team Hard Cupra through an Advertisement board at the chicane as he understeered wide.

On Lap four Jake Hill in his #24 BMW was right with Cook as he tried to go around the outside of the Honda at the Hairpin, but Cook was able to hold on to position.

Ronan Pearson at turn one on lap six wouldn’t make the corner as he speared through the gravel trap, as he stayed on the outside line for turn two, which seemed to indicate he had an issue with him not picking up the pace, he would retire at the end of the lap.

Ingram seemed to catch Hill napping at the end of lap seven as he dove the nose of the Hyundai up the inside of the BMW at the Hairpin, but he didn’t have the drive onto the straight to make the move stick as Hill would hold position to keep fourth.

This battle was heating up as Josh Cook, Jake Hill, Tom Ingram, and Colin Turkington were all fighting for fourth position, which allowed the Napa cars to create a comfortable gap.

Rory Butcher would run wide at the final corner as it looked like the car was struggling to turn for the corner as he ran across the grass, he would then enter the pitlane.

Sam Osborne was fully committed as he forced his way up the inside of Taylor Smith the two would clatter off each other to allow Osborne to move himself up to tenth position.

Osborne wasn’t clear though as he got stuck behind the hard tyre running One Motorsports Honda of Aiden Moffatt, which allowed Taylor Smith and multiple other cars to catch up and apply some pressure

Adam Morgan would have a significant moment as he would enter turn two completely sideways and into tyres on the inside of the corner on lap 12, he was running in 16th position.

By lap 14 though Moffat’s tyres had really faded as he fell all the way from ninth to 13th as he was swamped by the rest of the field.

Napa Racing UK would dominate the race as they would finish the race with a one-two-three as Dan Cammish would take the win by +0.717s  from Ash Sutton who was allowed to pass by Rowbottom on the finish line.

Josh Cook would finish fourth to take yet another independent win, which is the championship he is very much dominating this season.


Race Two

After race one the drivers in the top 15 now on the medium tyres were Dan Cammish, Daniel Rowbottom, Jake Hill, Tom Ingram, Colin Turkington, Sam Osborne, Aiden Moffat, and Mikey Doble.

The Soft Tyre runners in the top 15 were Ash Sutton, Josh Cook, Stephen Jelley, Aron Taylor-Smith, Ricky Collard, Daniel Lloyd, Tom Chilton,  and Andrew Watson.

The only person on the Hard set of tyres was Ronan Pearson, as he started at the back of the field after his retirement in race one.

The start was a bit manic as the Hill was squeezed up behind Rowbottom and Alongside Cook, but in the background, Moffat was completely sideways across the grass as he re-entered the track in front of Doble who luckily avoided the scot.

Rory Butcher and Jade Edwards both received ten-second Penalties for being out of starting position.

Ingram dove up the inside of Rowbottom at the final corner, which saw them both have a drag race to the first corner to see who could break later.

Rowbottom was able to hold the inside and Ingram was left still looking for a way past the very wide Ford.

This fighting had slowed them down which brought the One Motorsport Honda Civic of Josh Cook into this intense battle for the final podium position.

George Gamble was having a very bad time as on lap ten the team would retire the car again with them pushing it in the pits.

On lap ten Jake Hill pushed too hard as he ran two tyres into the gravel on the outside of turn one, and entered turn two too quickly behind Cook, which locked up all four of the BMW’s wheels and left him facing backwards on the outside of the corner.

Ash Sutton would take yet another win for Napa Racing UK with his team-mates Dan Cammish and Dan Rowbottom rounding out the top three with them finishing +7.682s and +9.853s behind Sutton.

Tom Ingram would claim fourth with his Excelr8 Hyundai, with Josh Cook taking the fifth position and his second independent win of the day.


Race Three

The reverse grid draw saw Ash Sutton pick out Colin Turkington who finished in sixth in race two, which also saw Josh Cook and Tom Ingram start in second and third.

Turkington would get a lighting start with everyone rubbing and racing through turn one, which resulted in turn two Dan Lloyd spearing off in the wrong direction into the outside wall.

The start had also seen Steven Jelley and Ash Sutton in the wars as Jelley locked up and rear-ended Sutton into turn one, Sutton went for the switch back into turn two but made contact collecting Jelley’s right rear sending the BMW spinning and destroying Sutton’s left front tyre and this left the Championship leader out the race.

These incidents would bring out the first safety car of the day on lap one.

Lap five would see the grid go back to green flag racing with Turkington holding onto the leader with Tom Ingram applying some pressure in second.

Lap seven of the race Jack Butel would spear into the rear of Sam Osborne which sent the Ford sideways across the grass on the outside of the corner and then across the track with everyone else darting across the circuit in avoidance.

Moffat had used his soft tyres up a bit too early on lap nine as Ricky Collard would find his way up the inside of Moffat at Sunny in, and with the superior grip of his medium tyres made the move stick.

Daryl Deleon after running excellently in Race Three was given a penalty for a mechanic still being on the grid when they shouldn’t have been.

Moffat and Butcher were still fighting on lap 14 of the race as the younger Scot would take the seventh position back as he went up the inside at the final corner.

It was a second spin of the day for Jake Hill as he got unsettled out of Barcroft, which meant he broke on the grass for Sunny in, which sent the BMW driver backwards up the access road on lap 16.

Race Three would be won by Colin Turkington with Tom Ingram finishing +3.242s behind in second, and third with the independent win would go to Josh Cook who was +5.287s back.

Fifth and Fourth would be made up with Napa teammates Dan Cammish and Dan Rowbottom who were +5.886s and +7.192s off the leader.

Michael Crees in his Team Hard Cupra would finish in eleventh, taking points on his return to the series.

Championship wise Sutton’s retirement had undone all his hard work as Tom Ingram was now just +6 points behind the Championship leader.

Colin Turkington’s win had brought him just +34 points off the championship lead in his BMW as he sat third in the championship.


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