Sutton Doubles Down Again

Sutton Doubles Down Again

Ash Sutton took a superb double victory at Snetterton and left Norfolk with a seven-point championship lead over the BTCC champion Tom Ingram. Ingram, however, won Race 3 for Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8, as all three wins of BTCC's weekend came from front-wheel drive cars.

May 23, 2023

Sutton led the field from pole position in Race 1 of the weekend as Ingram dropped behind two of the BMW 330eM Sports of Colin Turkington and Jake Hill. The Hyundai driver lost more ground on the opening lap of the 12-lap event, finding himself in sixth place despite starting on the soft tyres.

Ingram soon began making amends for his lacklustre start, passing Adam Morgan's Team BMW car two laps into the race. He then overtook the Toyota Corolla GR Sport of Ricky Collard at Riches a lap later for fourth place. The Toyota driver retired halfway through the race with a hole in the radiator as Turkington resisted increasing pressure from his teammate Hill and the chasing Ingram.

Hill muscled his way past Turkington for second place with three laps to go with two wheels on the grass at Brundle before completing the move at Nelson.

Elsewhere, Dan Cammish had dropped down to P11 after he was passed by Árón Taylor-Smith on the penultimate lap in the Vauxhall Astra after working his way up to P10 from 25th on the grid.

Hill tried every trick in the book to snatch the victory from Sutton on the 12th and final lap as both drivers deployed their hybrid, but Sutton hung on to take his third win of the year.

Sutton Doubles Down Again

Sutton began Race 2 of the weekend from pole position and kept the lead ahead of Hill into Riches as the real-wheel drive BMW struggled for tyre temperature. The pole sitter used the superior grip of his soft tyres and built a sizeable advantage over Hill, who utilised the medium compound.

Further down the field, Taylor-Smith endured immense pressure from a multitude of cars in the battle for P12. The Irish driver strategically used his hybrid allocation to defend from Collard, and held onto finish in 12th and to take four championship points.

Sutton drove to a dominant victory in Race 2 for NAPA Racing UK to extend his championship lead ahead of the Team BMW duo of Hill and Northern Irishman Turkington.

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Sutton Doubles Down Again

In the third and final event of the day at Snetterton, Stephen Jelley started on pole in the BMW 330e M Sport in the reverse grid race. The start was delayed after George Gamble stopped on the formation lap at Riches in the Toyota Corolla GR Sport, meaning the race distance was reduced from 12 to 11 laps.

Jelley retained the lead into Riches ahead of his teammate Morgan as the Ford Focus ST of Daniel Rowbottom sat in third place. Rory Butcher used the extra grip of his soft tyres, passing Morgan for fourth place with a late braking lunge at Murrays.

Moments later, Rowbottom, Ingram and Butcher all passed Jelley, who struggled for outright speed on the hard tyre. Ingram, now in second place, closed up to Rowbottom and passed the 34-year-oldat Riches five laps into the race.

Butcher continued his superb charge through the field, squeezing past Rowbottom at Nelson on the same lap, using the extra grip of his soft tyres. Cammish was let through by his teammate Rowbottom into third place with four laps to go in an attempt to pass Butcher.

The team play paid off as the34-year-old took third place from the Toyota driver in the closing stages and relentlessly closed down Ingram's advantage but couldn't pass the Hyundai i30in a tense finish to Race 3. Cammish was later disqualified from Race 3 for failing the post-race ride height checks.

Sutton leads the championship after Round Three at Snetterton ahead of Ingram and Turkington, with the next BTCC event getting underway on 3-4 June at Thruxton in Hampshire.

Sutton Doubles Down Again
Sutton Doubles Down Again