13th August 2023

Ash Sutton rounded off a fantastic day behind the wheel of the #116 NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus by obliterating the field in the final Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill.

The three-time champion had already shown extraordinary car control on slick tyres in wet conditions in the opening race, hounded Jake Hill for second in the next bout, and completed the job by storming to victory amidst heavy rain in the finale.

Starting sixth, Sutton scythed his way through to second before making a simple pass by impressive long-time leader Ronan Pearson (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8).

Sutton eventually won by nearly ten seconds as he stretched his advantage at the top of the Drivers' standings to 37 points.

One Motorsport with Starline Racing's Josh Cook finished second as he completed a brilliant turnaround during the day.

The Honda Civic driver crashed out of the opener while fighting for a win with Sutton, and then stormed through the pack to take eighth in the second, with his day finishing with an impressive second place.

The podium was completed by Tom Ingram as Pearson played the team game to let him his BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 team-mate through on the final lap.

Pearson starred throughout the weekend in front of a passionate home crowd as the Scotsman looks to have a bright future ahead in the BTCC.

Ricky Collard (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK) had a wild ride to fifth, whilst Dexter Patterson (Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD) produced the race of his life so far as he muscled his way to a first ever top six finish in Britain's most competitive championship.

Aiden Moffat (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) wrestled past the fading Cupra of Daniel Lloyd (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils) late on to take seventh, whilst George Gamble (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK) and Dan Cammish (NAPA Racing UK) rounded out the top ten.

Ash Sutton said: "I'm ecstatic I won't lie. After race one I thought we were going to have a tough task on our hands in terms of the Championship, but with the disqualification of Tom [Ingram] and the performance in race two. Then finish it off with a win, I couldn't ask for much more than that. 

"This is the biggest gap I have ever experienced in British Touring Cars so I'm not going to complain about it at all, but we have seen even this weekend how quick things can change. I'm not going to get too excited just yet. We are closer than we have ever been before but we still need to be clever."

Josh Cook said: "The race one result wasn't ideal. Nobody can predict the weather but until that point I was feeling pretty comfortable – the car has felt good all weekend. To end up in the wall at Turn 2 wasn't how we saw our day panning out.

"This podium was earnt in race two really. The car I had beneath me then was absolutely unbelievable. To be on the medium slower tyre and still come back from where we did just shows how good the car was in those conditions.

"In this last race I just had try make my way forwards and sadly when I got through the traffic Ash [Sutton] had pulled a bit of a lead. Huge credit to the team who have been working hard all weekend, it's nice for us to finish off with a P2. I'm so pleased I was able to reward them with a podium because they deserve so much more than what they have had this year."

Tom Ingram said: "It's a tricky situation to be in when at the start of the day, the jubilation of having the victory is there and then suddenly you have it taken away. Your focus then always just has to turn to race three and just trying to recover anything you can. On a day like today when points are so down to the wire, we have to make as many as we can. Which, especially around here where it is difficult to make a huge amount of headway, can be a tough challenge. 

"The second race is really where we made the headway and brought us back into contention. I think we did a good job considering where we started the day to where we finished it.

"I have never been more sorry to have to do something when I overtook Ronan [Pearson]. Ronan has done an amazing job this weekend and has absolutely proved his worth in a British Touring Car – a circuit that is so so hard to overtake and is notoriously difficult in mixed conditions and in every session he has just been on it. It was horrible but we had to go for maximum points."

2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 3 – Knockhill

1. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK 27 Laps
2. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +9.636s
3. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +16.568s
4. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +17.699s
5. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +19.841s
6. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +20.457s
7. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +21.178s
8. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +21.969s
9. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +22.906s
10. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +23.055s
11. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +24.155s
12. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +26.157s
13. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +28.318s
14. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +29.783s
15. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +33.652s
16. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +34.011s
17. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +35.589s
18. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +35.677s
19. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +35.955s
20. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +38.492s
21. Jade Edwards, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +42.305
22. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +45.490s
23. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +3 Laps
24. Michael Crees, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +5 Laps
25. Rob Huff, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +15 Laps
26. Daryl DeLeon, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +18 Laps
27. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +20 Laps © 2024
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