Sutton extends BTCC points lead with historic Thruxton double

Ashley Sutton created more history in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship this past weekend (June 3/4) as he extended his lead at the top of the standings with a double win at Thruxton.

Continuing his stunning form from Brands Hatch and Snetterton, the NAPA Racing UK driver was in a league of his own around the fastest circuit in the UK as he charged to his fifth and sixth race victories of the season in commanding style.

Those wins not only already match his best BTCC campaign to-date but also sees the three-time champion become the first driver in the series’ history of the current three-race format to claim two wins at three consecutive events.

As was the case last time out at Snetterton, Saturday’s qualifying session around the 2.36-mile high-speed circuit belonged to the 29-year-old as he charged to his second successive pole position of the season.

Despite only having one second of hybrid deployment at his disposal, Ashley hustled his Ford Focus ST to its limits and surged to the top of the times in the final third, netting pole position with a 1:15.489 – two tenths clear of his closest challengers.

In front of a packed crowd on Sunday, Ashley continued his sensational run of form with two routine lights-to-flag triumphs in races one and two.

Blasting away from the front row, the BRDC Member got his head down in the opening laps of both contests to build up a comfortable advantage and ultimately keep the chasing pack at arm’s length all the way to the chequered flag.

Starting the reverse grid finale outside the top ten, Ashley concluded his weekend by picking up a handful of points with a measured drive to 12th place.

Leaving Thruxton, Ashley has now extended his lead to 14 points at the top of the Drivers’ Championship whilst NAPA Racing UK and Motorbase/Ford continue to head the Teams’ and Manufacturer-Constructors’ Championship respectively.

Ashley Sutton:
“I’m at a lost for words! It’s very rare that you’re in a position like this where you’re absolutely at one with the car so we’re maximising this opportunity. I can’t thank the boys and girls at NAPA Racing UK enough because they’ve done a phenomenal job once again.

“The car was on absolute rails in qualifying and it felt great in race trim too. We focused on breaking away early from Tom [Ingram] and Josh [Cook] in the first two races and once we had a comfortable gap over them we just managed things to the finish.

“I’ll admit that I was a bit emotional after race two because we’re making history. I’ve always said that I want my name to go down in the record books and that’s exactly what we’re doing. To win six of the last eight races is special and something I’m very proud of.

“In race three I did realise just how nice I had had things out front because sitting in the aerowash at the back of the train meant I just could’t make any progress. Still, it was good to pick up a few more points.

“We’re off to Oulton Park next and I think we’ll be strong. Qualifying is going to be really important so we go there with a clean slate and we’ll try to put ourselves in a good position before heading into the summer break.”

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship continues in less than two weeks’ time on June 17/18, when it reaches the halfway point in the 2023 season at Oulton Park.

Chris Ashby
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