Ash Sutton to run Swindon engine at Donington Park

Defending champion Ash Sutton will switch a Swindon-prepared version of the Subaru engine for the second round of the BTCC season this weekend at Donington Park.

Team BMR elected to swap engine suppliers over the winter, although both Sutton and Josh Price ran with Mountune engines at Brands Hatch with Jason Plato’s Levorg being the only one of the three Subarus to run with the new engine.

Sutton was due to sample the engine for the first time during shakedown ahead of the weekend, and said he was keeping grounded when it comes to his expectations for the second meeting of the year.

“It’s not a total unknown quantity as a team because it’s been in Jason’s car but I’ve not driven with it so I don’t really know how exactly how we’re going to perform this weekend,” he said.

“I really think I would like to go there with the same mentality as we did at Brands, with the intention of trying to pick up some points and if we’re up there with the pack, to push and make the most of the situation.”

Having run the new engine for the opening meeting, and also in the recent Thruxton test, Plato said he felt that ongoing work on the new unit – allied to changes to his car to try and dial out understeer issues he has been battled with the Levorg – would lead to improved performance on track.

“We now have the tools to dial out the understeer that has plagued us for a long time,” he said. “It’s a different set-up to what we have run before and I’m looking forward to having a car on which I’ve got a good front end; that’s the most important thing for me, that I know where the front end is.

“[However] our speed trap data from Brands Hatch didn’t look very good for us and we need to understand why that is. There’s quite a bit of work to do on the motor and looking at drag and those sort of things.

“But the objective is to be higher up the pack and I think we should be in a completely different performance window to where we’ve been of late.”