Photo: PSP Images

Ash Sutton storms to second straight pole

Ash Sutton ensured that NAPA Racing remained unbeaten in BTCC qualifying this season after topping the times ahead of round four of the campaign at Thruxton.

All eyes had been on Josh Cook after he topped both free practice sessions, but Sutton moved to the head of the pack when it really mattered despite having less hybrid available than anyone else on the grid.

The former champion lay down a marker on his first timed run as he immediately lapped in the 1:15s bracket – putting him more than six-tenths quicker than anyone else.

It took until the final twelve minutes before Sutton was overhauled as Cook moved into top spot but Sutton then responded to go faster still and reclaim provisional pole.

It looked like pole was secured with Sutton on an even quicker lap with three minutes remaining before the session was halted due to a tyre stack at the chicane being dislodged – ironically by team-mate Dan Cammish.

That meant the session would resume over five minutes but Sutton wasn’t to be denied as he wrapped up top spot ahead of Ingram by two-tenths of a second after the defending champion managed to get ahead of Cook on the times.

Cook therefore had to settle for third ahead of the star of the session as Mikey Doble produced his best performance by far to secure fourth spot in his Power Maxed Vauxhall.

Doble would just edge out the BMWs of Jake Hill and Colin Turkington as they had to settle for sharing the third row of the grid, with the two remaining Vauxhalls of Andrew Watson and Aron Taylor-Smith sharing row four.

Watson had run as high as second earlier in the session before being shuffled down the order, with Cammish and Rory Butcher rounding out the top ten.

Bobby Thompson had been one to watch top-four pace in practice but could only manage 13th spot in his Cupra, behind team-mate Dan Lloyd.

Thompson was the final driver to lap within a second of pole.