Photo: PSP Images

Ash Sutton extends lead on record-breaking weekend

Ash Sutton admitted he was pleased to extend his lead in the BTCC standings after securing a ninth win of the season at Donington Park.

Having grabbed another pole position in qualifying, Sutton’s charge to victory in race one set a new record for wins in a season in the NGTC era, before he battled a brake issue in races two and three.

Despite that, the NAPA Racing man was able to chase Tom Ingram home to take second place in race two and then outscored his rival in race three to move 42 points clear at the top of the standings.

Just six races remain across the final two rounds, with the possibility that Sutton could provisionally take the title next time out at Silverstone if results go his way, although he anticipates a tough weekend on the short National circuit.

“I couldn’t fault the car in the opening race in the wet and it felt great but in race two, I had an issue with the brake pedal going long,” he said. ” I was mindful of what had happened to Dan [Cammish] in practice so I just focused on keeping Jake [Hill] behind me and bagging the points, and then we had a similar issue in race three.

“It was just down to the brakes getting hot but it’s nothing you want to have to deal with, particularly in a race like the final one where you are trying to stay out of trouble as it all kicks off and people are losing bodywork and hitting things all over the place.

“I was just planning to cover Tom until he got caught up behind Dan [Rowbottom] and I was able to take advantage and grab a few extra points to extend the lead at the front, which is good head of Silverstone. I expect it to be tough there with no hybrid but there are a few things I think we can work on and we’ll aim to come out all guns blazing.”