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BTCC Brands Hatch: Sutton beats Ingram in tense strategic Race 2 battle

Three-time British Touring Car champion Ash Sutton took his first victory of the season in the second race of the day at Brands Hatch.

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

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Sutton’s win was built upon a blistering first lap, in which he deprived first-race winner and poleman Colin Turkington of the lead at the Druids hairpin.

Tom Ingram was also on the move, and steamed up the inside of Jake Hill for third at Druids before slicing inside Turkington into Surtees to grab second place.

Sutton’s Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST instantly stamped in fastest lap on the second tour to extend the gap to 1.232 seconds, but then the Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N of reigning champion Ingram began to close the gap.

By half-distance they were almost together, and as the race neared its final quarter Ingram made use of his extra hybrid allowance, but could never get the interval below 0.3s.

With five laps remaining the leading pair both had five laps of hybrid, and Sutton eased the gap out to win by 0.933s.

“We were just tyre-managing,” said Sutton. “I got the move on Colin done straight away.

“I knew Tom was hungry, but I managed it and we played the hybrid game until we had a level playing field, and then I cracked on at the end.”

Ingram professed that “I almost gave when I got to the five-lap mark because I knew the hybrid was the only way I was keeping up”.

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

With all of the top 11 on the grid opting for the regular medium Goodyear tyre in this race, Turkington found his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330e M Sport less effective a weapon than on the softer rubber earlier on, but picked up his second podium of the day with a solid third.

Championship leader Dan Cammish held fourth in his Motorbase Ford from the WSR BMW of Jake Hill, before on the 15th lap Hill made it through on the inside at the Druids hairpin.

Rory Butcher was a distant sixth in his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla, but had some epic warfare going on his mirrors.

Team-mate Ricky Collard shadowed the Scot for most of the race, but came under pressure on the final lap from the Motorbase Ford of Sam Osborne, who was on the soft option tyre.

Contact was made at Clearways, sending Collard wide and allowing Josh Cook to grab seventh spot in his One Motorsport Honda Civic Type R from Osborne, George Gamble (Speedworks Toyota) and Collard.

But Osborne was penalised for the manoeuvre, demoting him to 10th behind eighth-placed Gamble and Collard in ninth.

Bobby Thompson finished 11th in his Team Hard Cupra Leon and then got drawn on reversed-grid pole.

BTCC Brands Hatch Race 2 results (24 laps):

Cla Driver Gap
1 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton  
2 United Kingdom Tom Ingram 0.933
3 United Kingdom Colin Turkington 3.405
4 United Kingdom Jake Hill 6.859
5 United Kingdom Dan Cammish 10.598
6 United Kingdom Rory Butcher 12.383
7 United Kingdom Josh Cook 13.912
8 United Kingdom Sam Osborne 14.168
9 George Gamble 14.238
10 United Kingdom Ricky Collard 14.350
11 Bobby Thompson 15.087
12 United Kingdom Tom Chilton 16.152
13 Ronan Pearson 16.659
14 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd 22.151
15 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom 22.994
16 United Kingdom Adam Morgan 23.277
17 Dexter Patterson 27.380
18 Mikey Doble 28.468
19 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat 30.295
20 Will Powell 30.675
21 United Kingdom Andrew Watson 34.698
22 Jade Edwards 36.648
23 Nick Halstead 50.101
24 Jack Butel  
25 Nicolas Hamilton  
  Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith  
  United Kingdom Stephen Jelley  

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