Alan Gow praises “exceptional” new BTCC champion Ash Sutton

BTCC series director Alan Gow said newly crowned champion Ash Sutton had done an “exceptional job” in 2017 – and revealed he told him as far back as Thruxton that he believed he’d win the championship one day.

The Team BMR driver triumphed on a dramatic final day of the season at Brands Hatch, eventually collecting the crown by 21 points after rival Colin Turkington retired from the third race with suspension damage.

Gow said he had confidence the 23-year-old would eventually lift the biggest prize in British motorsport, but didn’t necessarily think it would be this season.

Speaking to TouringCarTimes, Gow said: “This weekend had everything, didn’t it? Poor Colin had a bad qualifying and everyone wrote off his championship chances, and then look what happened today.

“You had the weather and all sort of things thrown in – the BTCC does what it does, which is deliver a great championship and great racing.

“Ash has done an exceptional job and I don’t think there is anyone in the pitlane that doesn’t think that. Ash is such a talented driver and he deserves to win the BTCC. He’s done it in his second year, which is fantastic.

“He’s had that car buzzing all year long. I said to him way back at Thruxton that one day he’d be BTCC champion but I didn’t necessarily mean this year! But anyone who wins this championship deserves it.”

Looking ahead to 2018, Gow said the series would be aiming for more of the same.

“I’m asked the same question every year, and all we want is a good, close strong championship, and we keep on delivering that year after year,” he said.