Ashley Sutton wins his first race of the season!

The reigning British Touring Car Champion Ashley Sutton led a Team BMR one-two from teammate Jason Plato.

Sutton led throughout the whole duration of the race coming under pressure from Plato in the closing stages of the race.

Andrew Jordan got up to second at the start of the race from third on the grid whilst Plato slotted into third with Tom Ingram just behind him.

The safety car came out at the end of the first lap due to Stephen Jelley and Rob Austin going into the gravel trap on the outside of turn one.

On the restart, Sutton pulled away from second place Jordan who was coming under pressure from the much lighter Jason Plato Subaru. Jordan was managing to frustrate Plato which helped Sutton create a gap of around two seconds as they headed into mid-race distance.

With Jordan starting to struggle on his soft tyres, Plato tried to sneak up the inside coming out of the hairpin but had to yield as they headed into turn one. A lap later, Plato got a great run out of turn two and perfected the undercut to move past Jordan into second place. All the battling they did helped Ingram close the gap who was now putting Jordan under increasing pressure.

In the final few laps of the race, Jordan out-braked himself heading into turn one and spun out putting Ingram into third position. Meanwhile, Plato had closed the gap to teammate Sutton to under a second – but it was Ashley Sutton who held on for his first race win of a somewhat – underwhelming first half of his title defence season.

Andrew Jordan spun himself out after going into the gravel trap at turn one. Photo credit: British Touring Car Championship

After the race, Ashley Sutton admitted, “I didn’t expect to be where I am right now. We opted for the hard tyre and after that it was always going to make life a little bit harder, but it paid off – sometimes you just have to take these gambles.”

Sutton continued, “He (Jason Plato) was on the faster tyre of the two but when he closed in, I had a little bit left in the tank and managed to pull away again. It’s a great result for Adrian Flux Subaru, good for Team BMR and obviously Swindon.”

Speaking about his title defence, Sutton commented, “You never give up trying, I’m here to win and to defend my title. I’ll always be trying my best to maintain some points and close that gap down. Obviously, things haven’t been great up to now, there’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully it stays there.”

Second place finisher Jason Plato commented, “It’s what we get out of bed in the morning for – these results! It’s something I’ve put my whole life into so when it goes wrong, it’s awful and really annoys you. So it’s a nice relief and a nice feeling to be back with a competitive car again – that’s what I love to do.”

Plato continued, “We’re still not quick enough in the straights – that’s why it took quite a long time for Andrew (Jordan’s) tyres to go off because he kept pulling away in a straight line. But we’ve found some time through the corners, quietly behind the scenes I’ve managed to get my car where I want it to be and I’ve now got a good feeling – so we’re in the mix now.”

Third place finisher and the independent winner Tom Ingram said, “I’m really really pleased. We didn’t really expect to be able to come through like that, especially with the rear wheel drive cars around us. I think he (Andrew Jordan) just missed his braking marker and went on – and typical me being a numpty, I nearly followed him in as well so that would have been a bit of a school boy error on my part. Credit to the team because being on the hard tyre in a front wheel drive car around Croft is hard – so like I said, credit to them.”

Tom Ingram battled his way through to third spot. Photo credit: British Touring Car Championship

Colin Turkington leads the drivers’ standings from Tom Ingram with Adam Morgan in third – who had to retire from the first race due to broken rear right suspension. Jack Goff sits in fourth but is level on points with Morgan.

By Jordan Hollands

Twitter: @Jayracemedia

Instagram: @Jayracemedia

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