- Ash Sutton – 4x Drivers’ Champion
- Napa Racing UK Teams’ Champions
- Alliance Racing/Ford – Manufacturers’ Champion
A stunning season on track for mountune-powered NAPA Racing UK ended on the highest of highs after the team successfully wrapped up no fewer than three Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship titles on finals day at Brands Hatch.
Ash Sutton became only the third driver in series history to secure the Drivers’ Championship for a fourth time (twice powered by mountune) and the first driver to claim the title in both rear-wheel and front-drive machinery. Whilst the Alliance Racing-run team ended BMW’s seven-year stint on top of the Manufacturers’ / Constructors’ standings.
NAPA Racing UK also lifted the Teams’ Trophy for the second successive season.
Sutton went into the weekend with a 45-point lead over 2022 champion Tom Ingram and extended his lead at the top in Saturday’s qualifying session; making light of a lack of hybrid power to grab the bonus point on offer for pole position.
That was Sutton’s sixth pole of the year – equalling the modern-day record – and gave NAPA Racing UK a remarkable nine pole positions from ten sessions. It also confirmed Sutton as the winner of the Goodyear Wingfoot Award as top qualifier.
RACE 1, 2 AND 3
Aware that he only needed to finish ahead of Ingram in Race one to wrap up the title, Sutton held his lead at the start and was never at serious risk of being overhauled as he scored win number eleven of the season – securing an unassailable lead in the standings in the process.
Win number twelve – equalling the record set by Alain Menu in the Super Touring era of the 1990s – quickly followed in Race two as Sutton once again led from start-to-finish and despite being forced into an unscheduled pitstop in Race three to have debris removed from the front of his Ford Focus, rounded out his season with 13th place.
Ending the season on 446 points, 46 clear of Ingram, Sutton clinched another record by beating the previous best posted by Colin Turkington, whilst he set a new best for laps led having been out front for 174 laps across the campaign.
Alongside Sutton, there was a welcome return to form for Dan Cammish after a tough run of results had seen him fail to score in the previous six races. Cammish would pick up three top ten finishes, and made the most of running the soft compound tyre in Race two to make a return to the podium places for the first time since Croft; cementing his position in the top six in the championship standings in the process.
Three solid top-ten finishes for Daniel Rowbottom allowed him to wrap up seventh in the standings, although he was left to rue a bad start in the final race of the campaign when on the front row of the grid that saw him slip back down the order. Despite that, he scored his best result of the weekend in P5 to complete a hat-trick of top eight finishes.
A tricky finale for Sam Osborne saw his chances of securing the Jack Sears Trophy (JST) ended in the second race of the weekend when contact from the Cupra of James Gornall saw him go off heavily into the barriers at Paddock Hill Bend.
Fantastic work from the NAPA Racing UK squad enabled him to get back out for the final race, where he came from the rear of the field to cross the line in 17th place.
It means he ends the season fourth in the JST standings.
2023 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
As the BTCC season draws to a close, it has been a record-breaking year for NAPA Racing UK. Some of the highlights include:
- 16 wins
- 32 podiums
- 9 out of 10 poles
- 14 fastest laps
- Ash broke the record for the number of laps led (174 across the season)
- All achieved on a single mountune 2-litre EcoBoost engine across the entire season (100% reliability)