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Race report
BTCC Silverstone

BTCC Silverstone: Sutton sensational to win from back of grid

Ash Sutton put in a sensational drive to victory from 23rd on the grid in the second British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Silverstone.

Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra and Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

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The win, remarkably Sutton’s first of his BTCC career at the Northamptonshire circuit, came after long-time leader Jake Hill suffered a misfire just as the race restarted following a half-distance safety-car interlude.

Hill, starting from pole in his West Surrey Racing BMW 330e M Sport, looked odds-on for victory, especially with Sutton, Tom Ingram, Colin Turkington and Dan Cammish starting in the bottom six following the dramatic opening race of the day.

Sure enough, the Kentishman built up a solid advantage early doors as Andrew Watson, at the wheel of his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra, fended off team-mate Aron Taylor-Smith, Adam Morgan (WSR BMW) and Rory Butcher (Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla).

It was all action in the pack behind – Ingram and his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N were forced wide at Brooklands on the opening lap as the reigning champion avoided errant Team Hard Cupras, costing him several positions, including to the Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST of Sutton.

Ironically, it was shards of Motorbase Ford debris on the track at Becketts that caused the safety car at the end of the 14th lap of the scheduled 22, with Sutton by now up to sixth.

Taylor-Smith had forced his way past Watson on the eighth lap, with Morgan and then Butcher following him through, so the Dubliner was now running second to Hill. Sutton was already up to sixth.

Hill made a cracking restart, but was soon in trouble with the misfire – Taylor-Smith forced his way inside at Luffield, the BMW and Vauxhall making contact on the exit, and Morgan and Butcher also passed the stricken Hill at Copse.

Sutton soon passed Watson around the outside of Brooklands, and quickly got ahead of the fading Hill for fourth. With five laps to go, he got inside Butcher at Becketts for third, and did the same to Morgan with two and a half laps remaining for second.

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Quickly the Ford latched onto Taylor-Smith – with a lap remaining, Sutton got a great exit from Luffield and squeezed down the inside at Copse.

“What a way to do it – I’m speechless if I’m honest,” said Sutton. “I knew it was going to be tough, and it was until Jake ran into trouble with his engine.

“I’ve missed hybrid – it’s the first time I’ve had it in a long while and I made the most of it, using it to pass the guys I thought would be harder.

“Aron was one of them, and it just happened to be on the last lap for the win.”

Ingram, who had started 22nd, completed the podium after his own spectacular rise, passing Morgan at Luffield on the penultimate lap in a move that also allowed Butcher through for fourth, and he also took the fastest lap.

Watson was sixth ahead of Josh Cook, whose One Motorsport Honda Civic Type R had endured a heated battle with the Team Hard Cupra Leon of Bobby Thompson, who eventually went to the pits and retired.

Up to eighth came Turkington’s WSR BMW, with Dan Lloyd (Hard Cupra) and Dan Rowbottom (Motorbase Ford) completing the top 10. Rowbottom ran fourth early on but lost time on the second lap when he half-spun while sandwiched by Taylor-Smith and Morgan.

Behind Ronan Pearson (Excelr8 Hyundai), Hill looked set to claim 12th, despite the car woes and being pitched off at Copse by contact with Rowbottom.

Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport

Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

But he then got spun around by Aiden Moffat (One Honda) on the very last lap of the race, and in the ensuing chaos Hard Cupra racer Michael Crees vaulted from 18th to 12th – and just snatched reversed-grid pole, with 10 drivers blanketed by a second. Moffat was reprimanded for the incident.

The result means that Sutton extends his points advantage to 47 over Ingram and 61 to Hill, with Turkington now out of mathematical contention.

BTCC Silverstone race two results (24 laps):

 
 
       
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Driver # Car Laps Time Interval km/h Retirement Points
1 United Kingdom A. Sutton NAPA Racing UK   Ford Focus ST 24 24'27.732       20
2 Ireland A. Taylor-Smith CarStore Power Maxed Racing   Vauxhall Astra 24 +0.411 0.411     17
3 United Kingdom T. Ingram BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8   Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 24 +1.405 0.994     15
4 United Kingdom R. Butcher Toyota Gazoo Racing UK   Toyota Corolla GR Sport 24 +2.257 0.852     13
5 United Kingdom A. Morgan Team BMW   BMW 330e M Sport 24 +2.578 0.321     11
6 United Kingdom A. Watson CarStore Power Maxed Racing   Vauxhall Astra 24 +3.093 0.515     10
7 United Kingdom J. Cook One Motorsport with Starline Racing   Honda Civic Type R 24 +3.774 0.681     9
8 United Kingdom C. Turkington Team BMW   BMW 330e M Sport 24 +3.942 0.168     8
9 United Kingdom D. Lloyd Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils   Cupra León 24 +4.659 0.717     7
10 United Kingdom D. Rowbottom NAPA Racing UK   Ford Focus ST 24 +4.984 0.325     6
11
R. Pearson BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8
  Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 24 +5.269 0.285     5
12
M. Crees Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils
  Cupra León 24 +12.789 7.520     4
13 United Kingdom A. Moffat One Motorsport with Starline Racing   Honda Civic Type R 24 +12.794 0.005     3
14 United Kingdom R. Collard Toyota Gazoo Racing UK   Toyota Corolla GR Sport 24 +12.952 0.158     2
15
M. Doble CarStore Power Maxed Racing
  Vauxhall Astra 24 +13.026 0.074     1
16 United Kingdom T. Chilton BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8   Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 24 +13.096 0.070      
17 United Kingdom S. Osborne NAPA Racing UK   Ford Focus ST 24 +13.153 0.057      
18 United Kingdom S. Jelley Team BMW   BMW 330e M Sport 24 +13.300 0.147      
19
D. Patterson Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD.
  Cupra León 24 +13.332 0.032      
20 United Kingdom J. Hill Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport   BMW 330e M Sport 24 +13.550 0.218      
21
N. Halstead BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8
  Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 24 +13.677 0.127      
22
J. Edwards Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD.
  Cupra León 24 +15.539 1.862      
23
G. Gamble Toyota Gazoo Racing UK
  Toyota Corolla GR Sport 23 1 lap        
24 United Kingdom D. Cammish NAPA Racing UK   Ford Focus ST 23 1 lap        
25
J. Butel Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown
  Cupra León 23 1 lap        
26
D. De Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD.
  Cupra León 21 3 laps        
27
B. Thompson Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown
  Cupra León 18 6 laps        

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