BTCC 2017: Snetterton – double wins for Subaru star Ashley Sutton
Ashley Sutton takes two wins at Snetterton, while Gordon Shedden leads the championship
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Ashley Sutton will be celebrating this evening after taking two of the day’s three possible wins at Snetterton.
Sutton, driving his Subaru Levorg, briefly took the lead in the championship standings after race two, but now sits in fourth place – well ahead of team-mate Jason Plato and with Rob Collard, Colin Turkington and Gordon Shedden ahead.
Here’s how the day’s action unfolded.
At the start, it looked as if the BMW 125i M Sport of Colin Turkington might take the win with ease, such was the pace with which he left the line. An overly charismatic turn-in by Turkington, though, saw him spin off, leaving the way clear for pole-sitter Jack Goff in his Honda Civic Type R.
Goff’s pace began to fall off in the latter stages of the race, though, believed to be down to Eurotech Racing’s decision to use the softer of the two tyre compounds on offer. Indeed, in the closing stages, Sutton closed down the 1.2 seconds gap between him and Goff’s Honda, seizing the chance to take the lead after Goff’s car began to wiggle through the last few corners. This was Sutton’s third win of the season so far, but it was to be the first of two wins today.
Speaking after the race, Sutton said: “I wouldn’t have expected a mistake like that from Colin (Turkington) when he was out front and from then I knew my time with Jack (Goff) would be a waiting game.
“He made one slight error and I made the most of my opportunity – I just managed to nip under him. If there’s a win on the cards, you know I’m going to do my best to get it.”
Elsewhere, Matt Neal took third position, managing to hold off both Andrew Jordan and Plato for the majority of the race. Those drivers took fourth and fifth respectively, with Jake Hill rounding off the top six.
At the start of the second race, Goff’s Honda again made a quick getaway from the start line with Sutton and Jordan following closely behind. Sutton emerged from the first few corners in the lead, and was eventually able to put six seconds between his car and the chasing pack.
Despite hard charging from Goff and Jordan, neither driver could hold their attack for long, with Jordan being taken out of contention following contact with Plato at the end of the opening lap. Further down the field, Josh Cook and Stewart Lines were catapulted into the barriers, causing the safety car to be called out.
On the restart, Rob Collard and Turkington were able to muscle past Jordan and Goff, with the duo then further demoted when Mat Jackson passed.
A special mention must go to Shedden here, who came from 13th on the grid to finish in seventh place.
Sutton secured his second win of the day, with Turkington taking second and Collard third, with Jackson, Goff and Jordan taking fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively.
With a reversed grid for the third race of the day, it was Cole who sat on pole position, but Jordan was able to take the lead almost immediately. His lead was under fire straight away, though, from the dual BMWs of Turkington and Collard as well as Shedden. Eventually, Shedden settled into second place, with Collard taking third.
For much of this final race it looked as if Jordan would take the win, but the BMW Pirtek Racing driver’s pace began to slow dramatically with just two laps to go. With mechanical problems ruining his chances of a win, Jordan’s car limped around the circuit but could only finish in 22nd place.
With Jordan out of the running, Shedden quickly opened up a significant advantage, leaving Collard and Turkington to fight over second place, with Collard winning the tussle.
Speaking after the race, Shedden told reporters: “We’ve had our dramas this weekend and we’ve just been trying to plug away. It was really unexpected and doubly so with the pressure from the BMWs. It didn’t do me any harm when they started battling each other. The car felt a bit lively at the end there but it did the job and gave us what we needed this weekend.”
Mat Jackson was able to take fourth place, ahead of Cole, with Tom Ingram taking sixth position.
From here, the BTCC moves to Knockhill on 12-13 August, before the final three rounds of the season take in Rockingham, Silverstone and Brands Hatch respectively.
Source: Autocar Online