Photo: TCR Europe

Podium finish “what we came here for” says Ash Sutton

WestCoast Racing’s Ash Sutton leaves Barcelona satisfied after a “fantastic weekend” in which he secured his maiden TCR Europe series podium in Race 2.

The 2017 BTCC champion joined the Swedish outfit ahead of the final meeting of the year, finishing fourth in the opening race and third in the second.

He told TouringCarTimes: “Yesterday I played it safe a bit as it’s a new championship for me. We just wanted to bring it home for WestCoast and Volkswagen. So once I found my feet, I was able to push on and picked up a couple of places.

“Then today, we changed our plan of attack, got stuck in from the get-go and set the fastest lap.”

Sutton managed to leapfrog the Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR of Peter Terting on the second lap after the safety car pulled on the inside of Turn 3 to take third place.

The Volkswagen driver then hounded the M1RA Hyundai of Dániel Nagy for second, but had to settle for the lower step on the podium instead.

“I couldn’t find a way through on Nagy and he was doing a very good job at defending,” Sutton said.

“He [Nagy] also had his team-mate behind me so I was in a bit of a sandwich and had think ‘be safe, bring it home in a podium position’, and that’s what we came for. So to that for WestCoast and Volkswagen is fantastic.”

“I’d be planning the move for the first couple of laps, and sort of worked out what his line was. And then he took the line I thought he was going to take and got my nose up the inside. There was a bit of paint trading but it was a clean move and I had it done by Turn 4.”

Sutton remained silent on whether he plans to make a full time switch to TCR racing next year, but was full of praise for the cars and his team for the weekend, WestCoast Racing.

He said: “It’s my first international race and there have been a lot of things to get used to. Racing these cars on a track as long as this and with a new team. So everything about it is a new, but it’s been a strong weekend with the lack of tyres and the car heavier than what it should be.

“I’m really pleased with the weekend. The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR has been mega, performed well when I needed it to and WestCoast have made me feel at home, so it’s fantastic.”