BTCC Thruxton: Sutton asserts climb to race victory

Ash Sutton claimed his fourth victory this season after a thrilling Round 17 of the British Touring Car Championship.

The second race of the day featured plenty of recurring duels around a quick and dry Thruxton circuit.

Reigning champion Ash Sutton was the one to shine after one of his signature climbs up from P5 to first place in his Infiniti Q50.

Before the start, Team HARD Racing’s Aron Taylor-Smith was seen crawling, unable to make his grid slot due to driveshaft issues. He did not start the race as their Jack Mitchell retired with issues also.

At lights out, Tom Oliphant in his BMW 330i M Sport had a positive getaway, passing Jake Hill for second as did Rory Butcher from fifth to third.

Sutton asserted his winning intentions by first going three-wide with Jake Hill and Rory Butcher, taking them both to get into third place by the end of the opening lap.

It was a difficult race for both Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type Rs. Dan Rowbottom radioed his team about driveshaft issues on the formation lap, as Gordon Shedden also had issues to limp back into the pits.

Only Rowbottom returned back out between the two, six laps behind.

At the front of the race, four laps in, Ash Sutton made a pass on Oliphant to put himself second.

Rory Butcher was defending his fifth place against Tom Ingram, running nose-to-tail as the Toyota sought a better approach onto the brakes.

Nine laps into the 16-lap race, Ash Sutton was lapping four-tenths faster than Josh Cook in the lead.

The BTC Racing driver took on 75 kg of weight ballast after winning earlier in the day.

After a game of ‘cat and mouse’, the Infiniti was right onto the back of the Honda.

Their duel was intense but it took an overlap into the first corner to grant Sutton P1 on Lap 11.

Further back in the midfield, Colin Turkington eventually got past Senna Proctor, and ahead of them, the Butcher-Ingram fight for P5 heated up.

The Corolla touched the grass slightly damaging the rear-right, but all to keep the Hyundai in his mirrors.

On the penultimate lap, Ingram finally passed Butcher but then sufficed to contact before the line which got him down to P12.

Sutton asserted a strong charge from fifth on the grid and took his 23rd career victory.

Josh Cook finished over eight-tenths behind as Tom Oliphant completed the top-three places.

Jake Hill came fourth ahead of Rory Butcher.

Colin Turkington made up five places during the course of the race and ended in sixth, followed by Senna Proctor in P7.

Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan finished eighth ahead of the PMR teammates Jason Plato and Dan Lloyd.

Position Driver Team
1 (16 Laps) Ash Sutton Laser Tools Racing
2 Josh Cook BTC Racing
3 Tom Oliphant Team BMW (C)
4 Jake Hill MB Motorsport (C)
5 Rory Butcher Toyota GAZOO Racing UK (C)
6 Colin Turkington Team BMW (C)
7 Senna Proctor BTC Racing
8 Adam Morgan Ciceley Motorsport
9 Jason Plato Power Maxed Racing
10 Dan Lloyd Power Maxed Racing
11 Chris Smiley EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars
12 Tom Ingram EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars
13 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing
14 Stephen Jelley Team BMW (C)
15 Jack Butel EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars
16 Jack Goff Team HARD
17 Tom Chilton Ciceley Motorsport
18 Ollie Jackson MB Motorsport (C)
19 Sam Osborne Motorbase Performance (C)
20 Rick Parfitt Jr. EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars
21 Carl Boardley Laser Tools Racing
22 Sam Smelt Toyota GAZOO Racing UK (C)
23 Paul Rivett Motorbase Performance (C)
24 Jade Edwards BTC Racing
25 Nicolas Hamilton Team HARD
26 Daniel Rowbottom Team Dynamics
27 (DNF) Jack Mitchell Team HARD
28 (DNF) Gordon Shedden Team Dynamics
29 (DNS) Árón Taylor-Smith Team HARD