The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship headed north of the boarder to Knockhill. Over the years this hasn’t been a strong track for Ash, despite how much he enjoys tackling the tight twisty circuit, the results haven’t really shown.
Showing good pace throughout the Saturday’s free practice sessions in both the wet and dry conditions, none of that prepared him for the mixed conditions during qualifying. The track state was very wet after some heavy showers just before qualifying. Ashley was top of the time-sheets for the majority of the qualifying session, then a red flag was brought out and the session brought to a stop. The track started to show signs of drying, so now it was down to making that very important decision of whether to put on slicks and take a gamble for the remaining 15 minutes of qualifying. Ash and the team opted to take the leap into the unknown, with the times starting to drop it was now going to be down to the last man across the line gets pole. The track was progressing lap after lap, gaining a second at a time. You couldn’t keep up with the timing screens, one minute he was 14th the next he was back on top, it looked to have stayed that way until his ballast free team mate Jason Plato just pipped him by a tenth of a second.
Race one pretty much run to script from Ashley’s point of view. Despite being on the softer option tyre along with his two main championship rivals Rob Collard and Colin Turkington, he just couldn’t match the pace of the ballast free Subaru Levorg of Plato. Ash kept Jason honest throughout the whole race and they managed to pull out a comfortable gap back to the BMW’s. This now gave the boys a chance to introduce some team work, Jason aloud Ash past heading up the start finish line to gain an extra point for the lead, they then swapped back on the final corner of the last lap. It wasn’t till after that they realized they hadn’t quite pulled off the plan due to the face he wasn’t in-front before the timing line. This was still a great display from the team converting their front row lock out in qualifying into a one, two on the podium.