Knockhill BTCC: Sutton wins Race 2 as Subaru dominates

Ash Sutton claimed his fifth BTCC win of 2017 in Sunday’s second race at Knockhill, leading home teammate Jason Plato for BMR’s second 1-2 of the day.

Subaru driver Sutton overtook Plato at mid-distance in a race affected by a red flag to move to within two points of the championship lead.

Plato, saddled with 75 kilograms of ballast after winning race one, led away from pole at the initial start before the race was quickly red-flagged for an incident at the first corner.

Senna Proctor shaped to the outside as he attempted to overtake Tom Ingram, but was sent sideways by a tap from Matt Neal, who in turn had been hit from behind by the WSR BMW of Andrew Jordan.

That put Proctor sideways through Duffus Dip and, out of control, the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall driver was collected by Jordan.

That caused a delay in the midfield, with Dave Newsham, Josh Cook and Matt Simpson also affected, while Stephen Jelley crashed head on into Proctor’s Astra.

The race was delayed by some minutes while a recovery effort began, but Plato made a second strong getaway on the restart Sutton was forced to defend from Colin Turkington's WSR BMW.

After resisting Turkington into Duffus, Sutton followed Plato as the two Subarus again broke away from the chasing WSR cars of Turkington and Rob Collard, with Sutton inching closer to his teammate.

Championship challenger Sutton got a better exit off the final hairpin at mid-distance and had enough room to sneak up the inside on the start/finish straight to claim the lead, but was forced to work for his win with Plato stalking his every move.

Sutton eventually clinched the win by 0.238 seconds, and is two points shy of third-place finisher Turkington at the top of the drivers’ standings.

Collard was fourth for a second race in a row behind teammate Turkington, with James Cole a lonely fifth in the third Subaru ahead of Honda driver Gordon Shedden.

Free of ballast for race two, a feisty Shedden diced through the order in the early stages of the race to advance to sixth, but couldn’t make an impression on Cole and eventually finished a couple of seconds shy of the Team BMR man.

Shedden ended up being the Honda meat in a Subaru sandwich as Josh Price put on a similarly impressive charge through the order to claim seventh.

Price started the race in 18th but raced through the order, and despite being involved in contact that eliminated Shedden’s teammate Neal in the latter stages clinched his best result in the BTCC.

Dave Newsham (BTC Norlin Racing) came home eighth after falling victim to Price on the penultimate lap, ahead of the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota of Tom Ingram.

Motorbase Ford’s Rory Butcher completed the top 10 in only his second race in the BTCC.

UPDATE: Price was subsequently excluded from seventh for passing under a yellow flag, promoting Newsham, Ingram and Butcher to seventh, eighth and ninth places.

Ant Whorton-Eales (AmD Tuning Audi) took 10th and reverse-grid pole for the third race along with it.

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About this article
Series BTCC
Event Knockhill
Track Knockhill Racing Circuit
Drivers Ashley Sutton
Article type Race report