Ashley Sutton has won race two at Croft with a dominant drive from an under-pressure Tom Ingram and a frustrated Colin Turkington in third.
Tom Ingram got off to a great start from third on the grid and led the field through turn one. Sutton slotted in behind him with Jason Plato dropping to third – only to receive a drive-through penalty because of a jump start.
Josh Cook had a massive off at Tower bend on the opening lap and later retired. He was very lucky to not hit the tyre barrier on the outside – otherwise, it could have caused a lot of damage to his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra.
Sutton dived past Tom Ingram on lap two to retake the lead at the hairpin with a fantastic move. Ingram then started to fall into the clutches of Colin Turkington who was sitting third.
Matt Neal went up the inside of Daniel Lloyd at Tower on lap four, but Lloyd muscled his way back past at Sunny in. However, both Lloyd and Neal ran wide allowing Tom Chilton to go up the inside of both of them. Neal made the move stick two laps later, going up the inside of Lloyd at the hairpin to grab ninth.
The race then entered a relatively quiet period with Sutton pulling out an ever-increasing advantage over Ingram in second who was still doing a great job in keeping Turkington behind him.
Andrew Jordan got past teammate Rob Collard on lap ten to grab fifth. Collard then slowed on the next lap due to a left rear puncture – ultimately forcing him to pit.
Neal went up the inside of Senna Proctor at Tower on the penultimate lap to grab seventh.
Turkington continued to put the pressure on Ingram, but despite having the heavier car, Ingram held on for second. Sam Tordoff managed to close in on Turkington on the final lap but couldn’t get through.
Meanwhile, Ashley Sutton crossed the line to take the chequered flag and his second win of the day – the only driver to do that this season.
Race winner Ashley Sutton said after the race, “I don’t know if I caught him (Tom Ingram) napping or what – but he certainly didn’t make it too hard. It was a little bit of a lunge, but he didn’t shut the door on me.”
Despite what looked like a relatively easy victory, Sutton admitted, “That was all push because I knew I needed to try and get a gap to Tom (Ingram) – I couldn’t stretch it out more than that. It helped when Colin (Turkington) started to put him (Tom Ingram) under a little more pressure in the last five laps, but he’s (Tom Ingram) is doing well for a front wheel drive car around here – I was having to push for that one!”
Second place man Tom Ingram said, “The car was absolutely fantastic considering we were on the standard tyre with a load more weight. You could see I was dropping off towards the end and Colin (Turkington) was having a bit of a look, but I knew I had to try and get some points on him (Colin Turkington) as he’s going really strong in the championship at the moment.”
Ingram also admitted that “I was expecting it (Ashley Sutton’s pass), but I didn’t want to fight him too hard – I knew he was going to be quicker.”
Colin Turkington was happy with third, even if he was a little frustrated with not being able to get past Tom Ingram. “I love to win but when you arrive at a track with heavy ballast, it’s a process. The first part of that job is qualifying somewhere were you can race and getting a bit of weight out. It’s very difficult to pass around here – I was faster than Tom in the last sector but he was faster than me along the back straight. It’s hot enough out there anyway, so I didn’t want to get the heart beating any higher.”
That result means Turkington still leads the drivers’ standings by fifteen points from Tom Ingram – whilst Ashley Sutton moves up to eighth in the standings.
By Jordan Hollands