Sutton took a double in front of a huge crowd at Thruxton
Sutton’s double at Thruxton gives him a 14-point cushion at the top of the championship table
Ash Sutton claimed his fifth and sixth race victories of the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Thruxton this weekend, as the Napa Racing UK star extended his advantage in the drivers’ standings.
The final reverse grid race was won by team-mate Dan Rowbottom to complete a fantastic day for the Ford Focus ST squad at the UK’s fastest circuit, which welcomed a huge crowd basked in glorious sunshine throughout the weekend.
Tom Ingram and Josh Cook completed the podium positions in each of the first two races, before Adam Morgan and Aiden Moffat claimed silverware in the finale.
Sutton now holds a 14-point lead in his quest to win a record-equalling fourth BTCC title, while Ingram and Colin Turkington maintained second and third in the standings respectively.
The BTCC now moves on to Oulton Park in Cheshire in two weeks’ time (17/18 June).
Commanding win for Sutton in Thruxton opener
Sutton secured a routine lights-to-flag triumph in the opener at the Hampshire venue, as the Ford driver kept both Ingram and Cook at arm’s length throughout the contest.
Cook clocked the fastest lap early on, and the fight for second threatened to ignite at different stages of the race, but in truth the top three places were never in doubt.
Jake Hill blasted his BMW past Carstore Power Maxed Racing’s Mikey Doble off the line and briefly ran side by side with Cook on the opening tour, before the Laser Tools Racing man settled into fourth until the finish.
Napa Racing UK’s Dan Cammish was the biggest mover in the order as he came from ninth on the grid to claim fifth, although team-mate Rowbottom wasn’t so lucky as a late race puncture halted his charge.
Six of the best for Sutton
Sutton then completed a double race victory for the third consecutive BTCC weekend, as the three-time champ continued his imperious form.
Having already bagged a brace at both Brands Hatch and Snetterton, Sutton controlled proceedings in the first two contests at Thruxton to record his sixth success of the campaign.
Sutton pulled a gap of nearly a second on the opening lap as the likes of Ingram, Cook and Hill squabbled behind for second.
An almost carbon copy getaway to the opening bout had Cook and Hill running side by side going into the Complex for the first time, with Ingram’s car also getting slightly tagged in the tussle.
When the dust settled, it was the same quintet at the top of the order, and the gaps between them remained relatively stable until the finish.
Sutton secured the victory by 2.2sec from Ingram, Cook and Hill, with Cammish again coming home in fifth.
Rowbottom romps to race three win
Rowbottom then rounded off an incredible weekend for Napa Racing UK as he won the reverse grid race – his second BTCC career victory.
Pole-sitter Morgan made a stellar getaway and immediately pulled away from the chasing pack, as Moffat initially acted as the cork in the bottle, with a gaggle of cars bulked up behind him.
Team BMW’s Morgan scurried off into the distance, while Rowbottom was busy making progress from fifth on the grid and up to third.
On lap five, Rowbottom dispatched Moffat’s Honda Civic Type R through the Complex, and he took 0.6sec out of Morgan’s advantage on the very next lap.
The gap kept shrinking, and Rowbottom eventually made his move down the inside of Morgan’s #33 BMW 330e M Sport before the cars reached Church on lap 10.
It was a great comeback from Rowbottom throughout the day, which had begun with disappointment in race one.
Morgan held on to second whilst Moffat defended valiantly to fend off Team BMW’s Turkington to complete the podium.
Ford and Napa Racing UK top both the manufacturers’ and teams’ standings, while Josh Cook and his One Motorsport with Starline Racing team lead the independents’ tables.