Monday, March 4, 2024

Ash Sutton regains BTCC Drivers’ Championship with rampant race one win at Brands Hatch

Ash Sutton is a four-time BTCC Drivers’ Champion in one of the first final battles in a long time at Brands Hatch where it was a procession over going to the final race as has been the case most of the season with the imperious NAPA Racing UK driver.

Sutton took a lights-to-flag victory in the opening race at Brands Hatch GP. He was troubled at the start and at the end, with Tom Ingram having one final attack after a safety car period, but it remained unchanged until the finish.

Despite all of the attention rightfully being on Sutton, Bobby Thompson who has been in and out of the Team HARD Cupra throughout the season returned home and took third. Colin Turkington, Jake Hill, Stephen Jelley and Adam Morgan showed strength in depth for Team BMW all finishing inside the top ten sandwiched between Sutton’s teammates in Dan Cammish and Dan Rowbottom. Ricky Collard being the only cork in the bottle in ninth but the celebrations now begin for Sutton.

“It feels phenomenal, I don’t know what to say, I genuinely don’t know what to say,” said Sutton. “I can’t thank NAPA Racing UK enough and everyone that’s involved. Four-time BTCC champion… come on!

“I felt like a puncture was coming on at the end, I could hear a lot of tyre noise coming so I had to play it safe. But the car hung in at the end and I think we’ve done the best job possible this weekend and I just can’t thank everyone enough.

“That would be mega (winning the next two races) but I’ll take whatever comes to me now I’ve got what I wanted.”

2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Brands Hatch GP 

1. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK 18 Laps
2. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.603s
3. Bobby Thompson, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +2.236s
4. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +2.993s
5. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +4.569s
6. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +4.839s
7. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +6.428s
8. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +6.617s
9. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +6.783s
10. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +7.263s
11. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +8.350s
12. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +8.537s
13. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +8.550s
14. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +9.118s
15. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +9.118s
16. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +10.657s
17. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +11.059s
18. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +11.207s
19. Jade Edwards, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +12.681s
20. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +13.493s
21. Daryl DeLeon, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +15.467s
22. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +16.939s
23. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +1 Lap
24. Michael Crees, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +1 Lap
25. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +4 Laps
25. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +7 Laps
27. James Gornall, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown DNF