Ashley Sutton takes his third victory of the season
(Photo from: www.btcc.net)
Ashley Sutton has won the first race of the day in the British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton and Round 16 of the year after overtaking pole sitter Jack Goff on the penultimate lap.
The 24-year-old had started third behind Goff and Team BMW’s Colin Turkington, who at the start of the race took the lead, using his rear wheel drive advantage to perfection. Goff followed into the first hairpin with Sutton third.
At the front the order remained the same until lap 5, when Turkington made an uncharacteristic error at the Bomb Hole when he lost the rear end after hitting the inside curb leaving him spinning out of the lead. This dropped the Northern Irishman down to the tail end of the top 10.
From that moment the race dynamic changed as the vast majority of the grid found themselves in trouble at one stage during the 12 laps. The next incident was on lap 6 when Rob Austin went for an ambitious move on Tom Ingram at Agostini for fourth resulting in the pair making heavy contact.
Austin retired with front right suspension damage after he was able to crawl back to the pits while Ingram dropped to eighth. The same lap Adam Morgan also found himself in trouble on the entry to the Bomb Hole and retired once he made it to the pits, continuing the MAC Tools Mercedes driver’s bad luck.
A lap later and Dave Newsham was also out of the race as those behind battled for points positions.
At lap 8 though the top 10 was Jack Goff from Ashley Sutton, Matt Neal in the podium places followed by Jordan, Plato, Hill, Turkington, Ingram, Collard and Chilton.
Jordan and Plato were battling for position all race long with their battle slowly moving up the order as those above them dropped out. As the race drew to a close the duo closed in on Neal however the Honda driver was able to hold onto the final podium place.
This was not the only battle though as at the front Sutton was quickly closing in on Goff. By lap 11 he was on 0.537 tenths of a second behind and on the exit of Agostini, he made his move for the lead, taking advantage of Goff’s fading front tyres.
Sutton quickly pulled away from second placed Goff on his way to his third victory of 2017 and in doing so, closed to only 2 points behind series leader Gordon Shedden, who finished down in 13th.
Goff and Neal rounded out the podium places with Jordan and Plato in fourth and fifth. Jake Hill finished an impressive sixth with Turkington seventh as Ingram, Collard and Chilton rounded out the top 10.