Ash Sutton “too aggressive” in Race 1 battle says Mikel Azcona

Mikel Azcona has hit out at WestCoast Racing’s Ash Sutton following their Race 1 battle, with the Spaniard labelling the Volkswagen driver as “too aggressive”.

Championship leader Azcona and Sutton had been disputing fourth place entering the closing stages of the opening race, with the pair running side-by-side between turns 10 and 12.

Sutton prevailed in the tussle and went on to finish fourth at the flag, but Azcona was left frustrated by what he claimed to be overly aggressive driving from the 2017 BTCC champion.

“There were some difficult moments with the Golf of Sutton. He was so so aggressive, too aggressive. He touched my rear bumper twice and then again in the braking point, when I was turning he nearly crashed into me,” Azcona told TouringCarTimes.

“I think this race from him was really aggressive, I am battling for the championship, so he needs to think about that.”

Sutton saw things differently and revelled in an impressive performance on his TCR Europe race debut in the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.

“It probably wasn’t until about halfway in that I really worked out where we were strong and made the most of that, catching a few people out and pulling some good moves,” Sutton said.

“All the guys here are good, fair racers, it was nice and clean up at the front. It’s nice to be involved, but they’re just names and stickers on windows to me, so it doesn’t mean much.

“WestCoast Racing gave me a really good car and it gave me the confidence to push, the Volkswagen Golf was mega. But halfway through we picked up a little bit of damage after contact on both sides with Michelisz, it put our steering and tow a little bit out.”

Azcona maintains a strong points lead over Dusan Borkovic, who finished second to race-winner Attila Tassi, but admits that a mistake midway through the race cost him a chance to all but secure the title in Race 1.

“For me, it was the most difficult race of the season, because we are thinking about the championship and I was in the middle of some very good drivers,” Azcona added.

“I maintained my position but I made a small mistake in one corner, locked my brakes and then at this moment, he overtook me. And after this moment, the problems started.”

In order to claim the championship in tomorrow’s final race of the year, Azcona must finish at least eighth should either of his rivals win the race, something the PCR Sport Cupra driver is well aware of.

“I don’t know the strategy but I know the worst position I can finish in is eighth. If I am eighth tomorrow, I win the championship. This is my target. Of course I am going to fight and overtake, and get to the podium. But first of all, I need to focus on the championship.

“I think it is going to be a crazy race tomorrow!”