Ashley Sutton joins Jason Plato and James Cole at Team BMR

Reigning Jack Sears Trophy winner Ashley Sutton will switch to Team BMR for the 2017 BTCC season after being named amongst the first three drivers with the Subaru squad.

The 23-year-old makes the move over from sister squad Triple Eight for his second season in the series, and will line up alongside multiple champion Jason Plato and James Cole; both of whom return having raced in Subaru colours last year.

It remains to be seen whether team boss Warren Scott will continue at the wheel of the fourth Levorg GT, with an announcement to be made in due course over who will complete the BMR line-up.

“I am over the moon to be offered such a great opportunity,” Sutton said. “I joined the Team BMR Academy at the end of the 2014, signing a two-year deal to race in the UK Clio Cup Championship, with a view to working our way up through the 2015/16 seasons. That two-year deal soon turned into one, and 2016 saw me sitting in a BTCC Car.

“Not for one second did I think that two years down the line I would be a part of the BMR factory team; let alone with a manufacturer like Subaru. I thought I had hit the jackpot in my debut season in securing a manufacturer drive, but being a part of Subaru – and the package that comes with that – has certainly topped it for me.”

Having taken his maiden victory last year at Croft, Sutton will now hope to challenge for more wins during the year ahead and said his focus was firmly on launching a bid for the overall crown.

“Last year I accomplished all of the personal goals I had set for myself,” he said. “I know that 2016 going to be hard, but I feel I have all the correct tools to move those goal posts and set myself some bigger challenges! Going into the final round in with a shot for the championship is the biggest aim – but this is the pinnacle of British motorsport, it’s the British Touring Car Championship, so I know it’s not going to come easy!

“I have been asked what my thoughts are on jumping into a rear wheel drive car and to be completely honest I am I’m going back to my roots. I have only had two years in front wheel drive throughout my whole racing career, so I can’t wait to be back where I belong. I’m looking forward to the intense testing program we have planned.

“Working alongside Jason, someone I have always looked up to, is something of an added bonus for me. There are three things that have made this academy journey come alive, those being; my family, all my loyal sponsors, and Warren Scott himself for giving me this opportunity. All I can say now is, roll on Brands!”