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BTCC Snetterton

BTCC Snetterton: Sutton blitzes free practice

Ash Sutton set a blistering time in the first session to comfortably top free practice for the third round of the British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton.

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

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The three-time champion demolished his opposition at the wheel of his Motorbase Performance-run Ford Focus ST to lead a team 1-2 from Dan Cammish by 0.666 seconds.

Even Sutton's second-best time was a quarter of a second clear of championship leader Cammish, with most of the leading times set in the opening 35-minute session.

Cammish bounced to the top of the times in the lunchtime period of running, with another 1-2 for the NAPA Racing-liveried Focuses completed by Dan Rowbottom, who was a mere 0.043s adrift.

But Cammish's best in that session was the best part of a second slower than Sutton's earlier mark, and didn't match his own best from the first period either.

Like Cammish, reigning champion Tom Ingram set his best lap of the morning period on the final tour to move his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N into third position.

Fourth fastest was the leading West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330e M Sport – on a circuit where the rear-wheel-drive machines dominated in 2022, albeit in considerably hotter conditions, Jake Hill led the squadron in fourth place.

On a weekend where all the drivers must use each of the three tyre compounds – soft, medium and hard – in one race apiece, Aron Taylor-Smith was fifth quickest on the soft Goodyears in his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra.

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Rowbottom was one of the few to improve in the second session – his time was good for sixth overall.

Snetterton maestro Colin Turkington is in the mix and took seventh place overall – sixth in the morning – in his WSR BMW ahead of the second of the PMR Vauxhalls, this one in the hands of BTCC rookie Andrew Watson.

Continuing the impressive form of the Motorbase Fords was Sam Osborne. He made it four Focuses in the top five in the second session – behind Cammish, Rowbottom, Hill and Sutton – with a time that was good enough for ninth overall.

Another to improve in the second session was sixth-placed Josh Cook, whose BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R slotted into 10th place overall.

There were few incidents – Nick Halstead missed the first session due to a precautionary engine change for his Excelr8 Hyundai, while Bobby Thompson skipped the second while a new motor is installed in his Team Hard Cupra Leon.

FP1

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton   11 1'54.952  
2 United Kingdom Dan Cammish   11 1'55.618 0.666
3 United Kingdom Tom Ingram   10 1'55.629 0.677
4 United Kingdom Jake Hill   13 1'55.777 0.825
5 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith   13 1'55.841 0.889
6 United Kingdom Colin Turkington   14 1'56.035 1.083
7 United Kingdom Andrew Watson   12 1'56.063 1.111
8 United Kingdom Tom Chilton   12 1'56.376 1.424
9 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley   14 1'56.514 1.562
10 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom   13 1'56.525 1.573
11 United Kingdom Ricky Collard   12 1'56.593 1.641
12 United Kingdom Rory Butcher   11 1'56.599 1.647
13 United Kingdom Adam Morgan   11 1'56.788 1.836
14 United Kingdom Josh Cook   9 1'56.849 1.897
15 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd   8 1'56.898 1.946
16 Ronan Pearson   13 1'56.902 1.950
17 George Gamble   13 1'56.903 1.951
18 Bobby Thompson   10 1'57.035 2.083
19 Mikey Doble   12 1'57.202 2.250
20 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat   12 1'57.208 2.256
21 United Kingdom Sam Osborne   11 1'57.496 2.544
22 Dexter Patterson   13 1'57.514 2.562
23 Jack Butel   13 1'58.406 3.454
24 Will Powell   12 1'58.840 3.888
25 Jade Edwards   10 1'59.900 4.948
26 Nicolas Hamilton   9 2'00.425 5.473

FP2

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Dan Cammish   13 1'55.814  
2 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom   14 1'55.857 0.043
3 United Kingdom Jake Hill   14 1'55.921 0.107
4 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton   13 1'56.118 0.304
5 United Kingdom Sam Osborne   12 1'56.120 0.306
6 United Kingdom Josh Cook   11 1'56.150 0.336
7 United Kingdom Tom Chilton   13 1'56.320 0.506
8 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley   16 1'56.322 0.508
9 United Kingdom Tom Ingram   10 1'56.337 0.523
10 United Kingdom Colin Turkington   14 1'56.391 0.577
11 United Kingdom Ricky Collard   12 1'56.559 0.745
12 United Kingdom Adam Morgan   11 1'56.604 0.790
13 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat   13 1'56.635 0.821
14 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith   14 1'56.700 0.886
15 United Kingdom Andrew Watson   14 1'56.752 0.938
16 United Kingdom Rory Butcher   10 1'56.761 0.947
17 Mikey Doble   13 1'57.079 1.265
18 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd   9 1'57.230 1.416
19 Ronan Pearson   14 1'57.454 1.640
20 George Gamble   12 1'57.583 1.769
21 Dexter Patterson   14 1'57.711 1.897
22 Will Powell   9 1'58.636 2.822
23 Nicolas Hamilton   12 1'58.743 2.929
24 Jade Edwards   9 1'58.913 3.099
25 Jack Butel   12 1'58.990 3.176
26 Nick Halstead   11 2'01.871 6.057

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