Sutton strikes at final BTCC pre-season test

16th April 2024


NAPA Racing UK claimed a one-two on the timesheets during the final afternoon of official pre-season testing, as the reigning BTCC champion edged out team-mate Dan Cammish at Donington Park.

Rival outfit Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS enjoyed the morning run as Tom Ingram topped team-mate Tom Chilton.

Light showers interrupted the early afternoon running before thunder and lightning eventually brought an end to proceedings in the final hour.

Sutton had already set his benchmark time – the only driver to clock a lap time in the 1:07s bracket – and he was closely followed by Cammish.

“We didn’t get enough dry running, but I think everyone is in the same boat,” said Sutton. “Overall, I’m pleased – we got through our testing plan and we’re nearly there.

“The car is in a good place; we’ve made a few changes. They seem to have been positive, but you never really know until qualifying gets underway. We’re looking forward to getting stuck in and seeing what car we’ve got beneath us.”

Cammish admitted to having a tricky morning, but he bounced back with a productive afternoon in the #27 Ford Focus.

“It has been a good pre-season test programme,” said Cammish. “We’ve had some varying weather and different temperatures across the five days of running.

"We got some really nice, consistent and quick laps in there this afternoon, but there’s a bit to come. If it ends up as a one-two for us next week then I’ll be thrilled, but there’ll be others coming out swinging, so let’s see.”

Chilton ended his positive day in third overall, having fired his Hyundai into second during the opening session.

Ingram had to settle for fourth, ahead of NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Rowbottom and Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill.

The Donington Park test was the third and final test of pre-season with BMW, Hyundai and Ford machinery topping a day apiece – highlighting the likely competitiveness of this year’s top-quality grid.

A big crowd arrived at the Leicestershire circuit for the official Season Launch, which had already included championship photography, television, radio and media activities.

Alongside the six hours of testing, fans flocked to the lunchtime pitlane walkabout to get autographs and photos of the BTCC’s cars and stars.

With today’s action bringing down the curtain on the BTCC’s pre-season, attention now turns to the opening race weekend of the 2024 campaign… back here at Donington Park on the 27/28 April. © 2024
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