Ash Sutton wins mixed weather finale
Ash Sutton secured victory in wet-dry-wet finale at Thruxton which jumbled up the order in the British Touring Car Championship.
With Andy Neate and Glynn Geddie both missing after the race two accident, there was extra spice added to proceedings when rain started to fall shortly before the start – leaving teams to decide whether to go with wet tyres or gamble with slicks given that part of the circuit was wet, and part was dry.
As it was, half of the grid took the decision to go to wets with half sticking with slicks, with the early laps proving to better suited to those on wets as Stephen Jelley held the lead from Ash Sutton and Colin Turkington – with Tom Oliphant dropping from second down to soon find himself outside the points.
The conditions would then start to turn however, with the likes of Oliphant and Jake Hill starting to storm through the pack on slick rubber – with Hill hitting the front on lap nine.
However, the rain then started to return, which played back towards the wet runners, with Sutton now heading the pack behind the Focus – eventually getting ahead round the back of the circuit as the wet weather worked against Hill.
Sutton ultimately took the win by just under five seconds from Jason Plato, as he managed to jump ahead of Hill at the final corner – although third capped another podium for the MB Motorsport man.
Gordon Shedden took fourth place on wet rubber which was an astonishing drive from the back of the grid with Dan Lloyd rising through the field to take fifth ahead of Turkington and Oliphant – who lost out as a result of a five second penalty for being out of position at the start.
Jack Goff, Ollie Jackson and Jelley rounded out the top ten.
Penalties for both Tom Ingram and Josh Cook dropped them out of contention for the victory fight, whilst there was disappointment for Butcher after he retired following contact with Carl Boardley.