BTCC Snetterton: Sutton’s lead remains after a strong weekend in Norfolk

While the Indy 500 qualifying and the cancelled Formula One race in Imola might be grabbing the headlines this weekend, the British Touring Car Championship continued at Snetterton, with Ash Sutton entering this weekend in top form.

Sutton was able to continue his impressive form at the Norfolk circuit, while there were also celebrations at the other side of his garage for Tom Ingram and reigning Champion Tom Ingram.

Here is a recap of the action


Race One

On the start, Ash Sutton just checked out as the field leapt past a slow-starting Ingram who fell to fourth and then to sixth as he was pushed wide at Montreal.

After the poor start for the #1 Excelr8 Hyundai of Tom Ingram, he made his way with ease down the inside of Ricky Collard at Riches, clawing his way back up to fourth, but still down from his P2 starting position.

Ash Sutton was on a different planet compared to the rest of the field on his medium tyres, with him confidently making a three-second gap to Turkington after just three laps in this race.

Turkington in his #4 West Surrey Racing BMW wasn’t giving up though, with the soft tyres coming into their groove, as he carved back -0.3 seconds, as Suttons’ gap started to crumble on lap four.

Ricky Collards’ miserable luck from Brands Hatch continued as he retired with a hole in his radiator on lap six from a strong fifth position at the entry to Brundle.

Then a civil war broke out as Jake Hill was bumping Turkington’s rear the whole of the sixth lap, looking frantically for a BMW-sized gap to fit into, meanwhile, Ingram was lurking in the background.

Jake Hill made an outstanding move on lap nine for second position as he put two wheels on the grass on the entry to Brundle as he held on around the outside to gain the inside for Nelson, to pass Turkington.

Hill was flying in the #24 Laser Tools Racing BMW as he found himself right with Ash Sutton going onto the final lap as Sutton had dominated the race until this point.

Even with the added Jake Hill pressure, Ash Sutton took his 30th win in the BTCC by two-tenths from Jake Hill, Turkington would be +3.553s behind to finish third in a very entertaining race one.

Dan Cammish would make up 13 positions to finish 11th in an inspired performance, which put him in a good spot to score some decent points later in the day.

The win in race one though was good enough for Sutton to move to the top of the championship.



Race Two

Sutton looked to have a major advantage coming into the second race of the day, as he took the soft tyres after enduring his medium set-in race one, with the cars around him now being forced onto the mediums.

The lights went out, and the top three stayed as they were, as a poorly Ingram got another terrible start, which dropped him to fifth by the end of lap one.

Josh Cook having fixed his mechanical gremlin on the grid, gained a puncture, which saw his One Motorsport Honda plummet through the field after just one lap.

Dan Rowbottom was on a charge on his soft tyres as he dove up the inside of the medium-tyred WSR BMW of Adam Morgan into Montreal, who attempted the switch back, but rear-ended the right rear of the Napa Racing UK Ford as he went to go back through.

This put Rowbottom up to fourth after he started seventh showing the advantage the soft tyres had over the rest of the field.

Sutton again had a lighting start and by the time the race had made it to lap six, he was +4.485s ahead of Jake Hill, with the strategy of taking the mediums in race one paying off.

Aron Taylor-Smith in the #40 PowerMax Racing Vauxhall Astra was as wide as a bus as he was defending very aggressively from a recovering Ricky Collard in the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK Corolla for the final reverse grid position, with Chilton and Pearson joining the charge to pass the Astra on the second to last lap.

Sutton took his second win of the day, and fourth win on the trot, with Jake Hill finishing second, followed closely behind the other BMW of Colin Turkington with both over four seconds off of Sutton Napa Racing UK Ford Focus in a ruling performance.

This win kept Sutton at the top of the championship by 16 points from Tom Ingram and another 22 from Colin Turkington.

Aron Taylor-Smith would hold onto the 12th position from Ricky Collard, in an excellent defensive performance from the Castore PowerMax Racing driver.


Race Three

The number pulled out of the reverse grid draw was sixth putting Steven Jelley on Pole for race three, with Adam Morgan and Dan Rowbottom rounding out the top three.

George Gamble broke down in the #42 Toyota Gazoo Racing UK Corolla on the formation lap with him only making it around 100ms until he pulled over at the pit exit delaying the start.

When the race started the front row got away well as Steven Jelley was able to keep his lead with him fending off an attacking Adam Morgan into Montreal.

Then as the tyres started to warm the hard runners started to struggle, which gave the medium runners a huge grip advantage.

Daniel Rowbottom in the #32 Napa Racing UK Ford made his way up the inside of race leader Stephen Jelley at Williams, with Rowbottom’s medium tyres letting him drive straight past Stephen Jelley with no issues at all, as the hard tyre runners were starting to struggle.

Stephen Jelley would drop from his lead to seventh and Morgan himself would drop to fourth.

On lap five Tom Ingram in his Excelr8 Hyundai made the move for the lead with him getting down the inside of Rowbottom on the switch back as he forcing Rowbottom to go wide as he defended the inside line going into turn one.

Rowbottom would fall further on lap five as Rory Butcher would make his way forcefully up the inside into Nelson as he went to try and hunt down Ingram’s Hyundai.

Dan Cammish on his soft tyres was the man to watch in this field though as he had made his way up to third after his teammate Dan Rowbottom let him pass on the inside at Oggies.

Cammish’s charge would continue as he dove up the inside on the entry to Riches and made his way past the Toyota Corolla of Rory Butcher with no issues.

Going onto the last lap Cammish had run out of Hybrid usage but had the soft tyres compared to Ingram’s mediums.

Tom Ingram would hold on just with Dan Cammish finishing half a second behind in second position, and Rory Butcher in the Toyota Corolla making up the top three.

This would change though with Dan Cammish being disqualified after failing post-race ride height checks, moving his teammate Dan Rowbottom in the #32 Napa Racing UK Ford onto the podium.

Tom Ingram’s win would tighten the championship right up with Ash Sutton’s lead now just down to six points.





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