Ashley Sutton drove the best race he ever has which saw him take his maiden win in the championship during race three at Croft. With Sutton’s success this makes it ten different race winners from the first fifteen races of the season so far. Race three was the first wet BTCC race since the Brands Hatch final in 2014, this saw teams rushing to get the Dunlop Blu Response wet tyre compounds ahead of the start of the race. Gordon Shedden and Mat Jackson attempted to race on slick tyres but were unsuccessful, the latter had multiple off track moments. Sam Tordoff started the race from pole position with Tom Ingram alongside. Tordoff held off Ingram and Goff in the early stages of the race. Sutton ran with Colin Turkington during the early stage and was running in fifth as the rain began to pour down. There was an early safety car brought out but when the safety car returned to the pit lane the action continued with Turkington going round the outside of Goff’s BMW at Tower. Sutton managed to pass at the next corner.

With conditions becoming wet it created some dramatic incidents occurring, the MGs of Sutton and Cook were sliding their cars sideways as they came through the Esses, putting on a really good show for the fans who stuck it out in the dismal weather. On lap nine Sutton made light contact with Turkington at the hairpin which saw Sutton move into third. Collard managed to pass Turkington too. On the following lap Sutton had passed Ingram as they approached the Esses and started to chase down Tordoff. Another safety car was deployed late in the race; this gave Sutton a chance to take the lead as the safety car bunched up the whole pack. When the safety car returned to the pits it left two laps for Sutton to try and pass the BMW. On the penultimate lap of the race Sutton managed to pass the BMW which was struggling in the wet conditions.

It was clear to see Sutton was carrying more speed and control in his front wheel drive MG compared to Tordoff’s rear wheel drive BMW. Tordoff finished the race in second which helped to extend his championship lead. Ingram took the final podium step. Collard fought with Turkington until the flag to take fourth, with the latter being demoted down the order after receiving a nudge from Josh Cook’s MG. Due to the contact Andrew Jordan was able to pass to take fifth, Josh Cook took sixth as he crossed the line. Seventh place went to Colin Turkington ahead of Aron Smith with Jack Goff following in ninth with Jason Plato completing the top ten.  Matt Neal finished in eleventh with Rob Austin behind in twelfth followed by Daniel Lloyd in thirteenth. Fourteenth across the line was Adam Morgan, Michael Epps fook fifteenth followed across the line by Martin Depper in sixteenth. Daniel Welch was next across the line in seventeenth with Jeff Smith taking eighteenth. Nineteenth went to Stewart Lines followed by Jake Hill in twentieth and James Cole in twenty-first. Gordon Shedden finished the race in a low twenty-second with Chris Smiley in twenty-third and Mark Howard in twenty-fourth. The final two finishers were Alex Martin in twenty-fifth and Ollie Jackson in twenty-sixth.

There were six drivers unable to finish the race due to multiple issues, those drivers were; Power Maxed Racing duo Kelvin Fletcher and Hunter Abbott, Motorbase’s Mat Jackson, Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat, Speedworks Motorsport’s Matt Simpson and finally Silverline Subaru BMR Racing’s Warren Scott.

The championship now breaks off for a six week break before they return to Snetterton on the 30th / 31st July.

 

©Fay Tilley 21st June 2016.

 

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