Ash Sutton replaces Colin Turkington in BMR Subaru BTCC team

Ash Sutton will replace Colin Turkington in the BMR Subaru British Touring Car Championship line-up for 2017

Ash Sutton replaces Colin Turkington in BMR Subaru BTCC team

The 23-year-old joins Jason Plato and James Cole in the team.

Sutton won one race and claimed the Jack Sears Trophy for rookies during his maiden campaign in the BTCC last term with the factory-backed MG operation.

Two-time champion Plato remains with Team BMR for a third season, while Cole returns for a second year in the rear-wheel-drive Levorg.

Sutton, who took two pole positions on his way to 13th in the overall standings last year, was a product of the BMR academy.

He raced under the team's colours in the 2015 Renault UK Clio Cup Championship, which he won, before stepping up to the BTCC in '16.

"Not for one second did I think that two years down the line from signing for Team BMR, I would be a part of the BMR factory team, let alone with such a newly bred BTCC manufacturer as Subaru," said Sutton.

"I thought I had hit the jackpot in my debut season in securing a manufacturer drive with MG, but now being a part of Subaru, and the package that comes with that, has certainly topped it for me.

"Last year I accomplished all of the personal goals I had set for myself.

"I know 2017 is going to be hard, but I feel I have all the correct tools to move those goal posts and set myself some bigger challenges."

Sutton's 2016 team Triple Eight announced an all-new line-up of Aron Taylor-Smith and Dan Lloyd for its MGs this year on Monday.

Turkington parted company with BMR last month and is yet to announce his 2017 plans.

FOURTH SUBARU UNCERTAIN

BMR has given no indication of what will happen with its fourth TOCA BTCC Licence (TBL) to compete.

Team boss Warren Scott has competed in the championship since 2013 and drove one of his team's Subarus last season, but sources suggest he is yet to decide whether to take a driving role this year.

He could take part in a half-season, leaving the seat open for another partly-funded driver to contest the rest of the campaign, or the fourth car could not run at all.

If BMR does not run the car, it would permanently lose its fourth TBL, as the 'transfer window' in which time the TBL could be loaned or sold to another team with the approval of series director Alan Gow has long passed.

TOCA would not reissue the TBL to another team for 2017 and would therefore retain control of that licence.

2017 BTCC LINE-UP SO FAR

AmD Tuning Audi S3 Saloon
Ollie Jackson, Ant Whorton-Eales

BTC Racing Chevrolet Cruze
Chris Smiley, Dave Newsham

Ciceley Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Adam Morgan

Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type-R
Jeff Smith, Jack Goff

Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis
Rob Austin

Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Aiden Moffat

Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus
Stewart Lines

Motorbase Performance Ford Focus
Mat Jackson, Luke Davenport, Martin Depper

Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra
Tom Chilton, Senna Proctor

Speedworks Toyota Avensis
Tom Ingram

Team BMR Subaru Levorg
Jason Plato, Ash Sutton, James Cole, TBA

Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type-R
Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Matt Simpson

Team Hard VW CC
Will Burns, Michael Epps, Jake Hill

Team Parker Ford Focus
Stephen Jelley

Triple Eight MG MG6
Aron Taylor-Smith, Dan Lloyd

WSR BMW 125i M Sport
Andrew Jordan, TBA, TBA

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MG reveals all-new 2017 British Touring Car Championship line-up

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