Photo: PSP Images

Ash Sutton: “It’s been a tough day”

Ash Sutton insisted that Saturday had been a ‘tough day at the office’ after the BTCC points leader had to settle for fifth on the grid in qualifying at Silverstone.

Sutton had bagged five pole positions in the previous six meetings, with his NAPA Racing UK squad having scored eight from eight this season.

Around the Silverstone National circuit however, that run would come to an end as Mikey Doble grabbed a maiden BTCC pole, with Sutton only just making it through to the final stage of qualifying before snaring P5 on the grid.

That marked his lowest qualifying result since the same event last season, where he started the opening race of the weekend from seventh on the grid.

“It’s been a tough day for us, I won’t lie,” he said, “but we’ve got to the end of it in P5 on the grid and half a tenth away from pole. For the first time this year, we just couldn’t get the balance in the car and we threw the kitchen sink at it and got there in the end on qualifying.

“We nearly missed out on Q2 and only got through by the skin of our teeth, but I managed to get a lap when it counted and we line up directly behind Ingram and Hill, so I couldn’t have hoped for much more.”

Sutton could secure the title on race day if things go his way, but the three-time champion said his focus was mainly on staying out of trouble as he looks to maintain his advantage.

“People can get a bit giddy round here so we have to stay out of trouble,” he said. “We’re going to be in the thick of it and I can’t afford to leave the door open for people or do anything stupid. We’ll do our homework to make the car better and hopefully we can have a strong day tomorrow.”