Ash Sutton of Adrian Flux Racing put new life into his BTCC title defence last weekend as he took a double victory at Croft. After claiming pole on Saturday alongside team mate and former Champion Jason Plato, he followed that up with a lights to flag win in the weekend’s opening race.
Plato took second after fending off rivals. Sutton then claimed a second win after fighting his way past a Rapid Tom Ingram in race two.
Race three saw BTC Norlin’s Daniel Lloyd dominate the reverse grid race in his Honda Civic.
Subaru scored a one-two finish in the first race as Sutton and team-mate Jason Plato fended off their rivals.
Sutton’s first win of the weekend was done with relative ease as he left Plato to battle with Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek BMW for much of the encounter. Jordan had taken second at the first corner on the opening lap and then had to defend from Plato for most of the race. Plato eventually got past in the closing stages while things continued to go wrong for Jordan as he ran wide at the first corner exit in the final few laps allowing Ingram to steal third. Tordoff bought his Motorbase run Ford Focus through into fourth holding off the WSR BMW’s of Turkington and Collard all race long with Josh Cook just behind them. The early part of the race had been interrupted by a safety car when a three way collison between Cook, Jelly and Austin saw Austin stuck in the first corner gravel with a broken car.
On the second start of the day, Sutton, Ingram and Plato ran three wide into the first corner and it was Ingram that came out on top as they emerged the other side. Plato soon after received a stop/go penalty for a jump start leaving a two car race at the front. Sutton was soon past Ingram on lap two and was then never headed. Second was Ingram from Colin Turkington in third.
Tordoff was again fourth, the sixth time he has taken that position in 2018 although he still is yet to step on the podium in 2018.
Sutton was pleased with his wins;
“I have to say, the car has been phenomenal – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing have done a mega job preparing it. The Subaru Levorg has been absolutely awesome. I’m not sure if I caught Tom [Ingram] napping, but he didn’t make it too hard and didn’t shut the door on me. After that, I focused on trying to build up a gap to him and it was full push! This definitely felt a long way away two weeks ago – I certainly didn’t expect to be standing where I am now. I’m a little bit further behind in the championship than I was at this stage last year, but you never give up trying and I always give it my best shot and now there’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.”
Daniel Llpyd was then drawn on the reverse grid pole and took the opportunity in both hands to take a lights to flag victory. It was his and the team’s first ever BTCC win and to make it even sweeter for Lloyd, it was at his home circuit.
“I’m absolutely buzzing – just lost for words and so, so happy. This win means so much to the team – we didn’t even know if we were going to be out this weekend after the damage at Oulton Park, but the boys all worked so hard and to repay them like this is amazing. It’s been a big weekend for us, and to finish with this kind of result is just awesome – absolutely perfect. I wasn’t nervous at all in race three; I know I’m quick and I knew I could do it and I’m so pleased with the way we did do it. All credit to the team. This is only my fourth day in the car, so to come out and win is unbelievable. Emotionally, I was having to hold it all together for the last few laps, but I didn’t back off because that’s when mistakes tend to creep in. By taking the win and setting fastest lap too, we really did it in style.”
The win also gave him the Jack Sears trophy as well as the independent victory.
Tom Chilton was an impressive second for Team Shredded Wheat after rocketing off the line from fourth. Senna Proctor completed the podium giving the Power Maxed TAG Racing team something to be happy about after a miserable Oulton.
Colin Turkington heads the championship from Tom Ingram by nineteen points with Matt Neal a further seventeen points back.
BMW lead both the manufacturers and team’s championship with Tom Ingram and Speedworks leading both independents titles.
Despite Dan Lloyd dominating the Jack Sears trophy at Croft, Dan Cammish of Honda remains the leader from Rory Butcher in the MG.
Championship leader Colin Turkington is happy with how his weekend went;
Colin Turkington said: “In my opinion it’s been a super weekend. Coming in with a heavy car you can very easily get stuck at the back all weekend. We had a strong qualifying and got faster through the weekend, which is quite common on our side of the garage. Of course it’s nice to win, but we did what we set out to do which was secure points and build on our championship lead. These days everybody is fast in this series and it‘s easier to lose points than it is to earn them, so to be 19 ahead at the end of this weekend is mission accomplished.”
The championship now goes into it’s summer break, returning on the twenty eighth and twenty ninth of July at Snetterton in Norfolk with one of it’s races being the extra long anniversary race.
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 13 – Croft Circuit
1 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 17 laps
2 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.863s
3 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +8.897s
4 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +11.293s
5 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +11.450s
6 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +11.696s
7 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +12.304s
8 Dan LLOYD (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +16.247s
9 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +18.222s
10 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +19.114s
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 14 – Croft Circuit
1 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 15 laps
2 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +4.284s
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +11.450s
4 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +5.147s
5 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +6.573s
6 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +11.754s
7 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +13.653s
8 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +14.112s
9 Dan LLOYD (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +14.387s
10 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +21.701s
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 15 – Croft Circuit
1 Dan LLOYD (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing 15 laps
2 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +5.835s
3 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +6.326s
4 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +7.775s
5 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +8.172s
6 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +8.906s
7 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +9.739s
8 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +14.330s
9 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +14.427s
10 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +15.602s
Penalties from the weekend:
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing has had 10 points deducted from the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ Championships having changed an engine above the number permitted
BTC Norlin Racing has had 10 points deducted from the Teams’ Championships having changed an engine above the number permitted
Matt Simpson was verbally warned for driving in a manner incompatible with general safety or departing from the standard of a reasonably competent driver
Josh Price received a verbal warning for an incident involving Aiden Moffat
Rory Butcher was officially reprimanded and received two penalty points for an incident involving James Cole
Tom Oliphant was penalised by the addition of 9.5 seconds to his race time for gaining an unfair advantage. This does not count as a strike
Ash Sutton was penalised by the addition of one second to his race time for gaining an unfair advantage. This does not count as a strike By Marc Waller