The perfect weekend for mountune-powered Ash Sutton saw him get his Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship campaign back on track at Brands Hatch last weekend, after gaining three consecutive podiums in his NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST.
Sutton leaves Brands Hatch having achieved his biggest points haul ever in his career with two wins, a second place and three fastest laps.
After his success at Donington Park, Dan Cammish certainly returned to form as he produced one of the best laps of his career storming to pole position in the final seconds of qualifying on Saturday, 6th May.
Treacherous conditions on Saturday saw a very wet and slippery track for the first part of qualifying creating plenty of drama and several red flag stoppages. With the chequered flag in site the 10 fastest drivers got through to the second round.
The leading four cars were separated by just 0.070s as the clock ticked down during the ‘Top Ten Showdown’ before Cammish crossed the line and blew his rivals away by over a quarter of a second.
Sunday finally saw all drivers take to the grid on slick tyres, with Cammish starting in pole position and teammate Sutton in P4, it was all to play for as the lights went out. Sutton stormed around the outside of Jake Hill to take second place, before getting by teammate Cammish on the run through to Surtees.
An incident involving NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Rowbottom saw an immediate red flag. After a 45-minute delay, proceedings got back underway with the pack starting from their original grid positions.
A great battle between teammates saw Sutton come out on top to finish P2 while Cammish completed the podium.
With the NAPA Racing UK pair lining up in P2 and P3 it was Sutton that came out on top snatching the lead from the pole-sitter. A fantastic drive from Sutton saw him maintain the lead and went on to win his first BTCC race of the season.
Cammish finished in P5 with Sam Osborne rounding out the top 10. Incredible work by the mechanics saw Dan Rowbottom’s car back out for race 2, gaining a sensational 9 places before finishing in P15.
With the reverse grid drawn it was Osborne who started in P4 taking his best starting grid of the year. As the lights went out Sutton pulled off some sensational moves to go from P11 to P3 in only two laps. The soft tyres proved to be the best tyre compound as the three-time champion made pass after pass to win a dramatic and tense finale.
Meanwhile, Osborne pulled off some fantastic moves in the final race of the day to win the Jack Sears Trophy for the weekend.
OLY COLLINS – TEAM MANAGER
“What a weekend! The whole team has been on top of their game this weekend with outstanding performances by the drivers all weekend. Dan’s lap in tricky conditions on Saturday was mega, he pulled that out just when it mattered to secure pole position. Dan had three strong top 5 finishes in all three races to keep him leading the Championship. Then Ash’s performance on Sunday was simply breath-taking. I think that’s a career best for Ash and maybe the biggest weekend points haul of a driver in the NGTC era? Sam’s race-day performance was also the best of his BTCC career, which ultimately secured him two Jack Sears wins and the Jack Sears trophy for the meeting. An unfortunate incident for Dan Rowbottom after the DNF in race one really put pay to his weekend, despite that he still managed to come back with a great drive from the back and secure two important points finishes.
The results we’re currently seeing on track is simply a result of the hard work that has been put in behind the scenes since the flag dropped on the 2022 season. On and off-track NAPA Racing UK are at the top of our game, we’re well aware we now need to keep this momentum going as we continue through the season.”
ASH SUTTON – NAPA RACING UK, NO.116:
“It’s good to be back! The car was nice in Race 1 but that was mega. We made a handful of changes between Race 1 and 2 and the car was just leaps and bounds, miles better.
“We were just managing the tyre, managing the gap. Tom [Ingram] got close at one point and a few little sweats came out but it was a case of just knuckling down. We knew we had the tyre at the end and had to use that. I’m just over the moon – the car was mega!
“NAPA Racing UK have done such a good job with this car. I think it’s clear from everyone we’ve just dialled in on the chassis and made improvements and it’s singing at the moment. I couldn’t ask for a better weekend – a second and two wins! Looking forward to Snetterton.”
As the dust settles on a great weekend for NAPA Racing UK, Cammish still leads the championship with Sutton jumping to 3rd, whilst the same Motorbase/NAPA Racing UK outfit tops both the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ tables.
Next stop, Snetterton for Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the BTCC championship on the 20/21 May.