Fifth fastest in qualifying at the Hampshire speedbowl on Saturday, 28th May, just 0.055 seconds shy of the second row, Sutton started round seven well and moved up into third by the time the field exited the complex. Soaking up pressure well race-long, he sealed his second podium of the season.
From third on the grid in round eight, the reigning BTCC Champion challenged for second into Allard before settling into third where he remained. Beginning round nine from fifth, Sutton moved up into fourth on lap one and then third on the second tour. Repelling big pressure mid-race, he pulled away to seal third again – thinking better of a late bid for second at the chicane on the final lap.
Conversely, team-mate Dan Cammish endured a nightmarish raceday after things had begun very well in qualifying with the third fastest time – a mere 0.081 seconds shy of pole. His hopes in round seven were ended midway around the opening lap when his mountune-powered Ford Focus ST was barged off the track. After making it back to the pits, he rejoined and finished in 25th and only just missed the fastest lap.Dan Cammish (left) and Ash Sutton
Facing a tough challenge in round eight from the 13th row of the grid, Cammish worked his way through into an 18th place finish. In the final encounter, though, more contact – this time at the chicane on lap 10 – meant a finish of 20th position. Truly a weekend of what might have been.
Sam Osborne raced to his first outright championship point of the season for Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan in round nine, a very hard-fought and competitive drive from 23rd on the grid into the top 15.
Frustratingly missing out on a potential starting slot inside the top 15 for race one, after being baulked in qualifying by a car slowly exiting the chicane, Osborne began round seven in 22nd position and finished in 19th place. In round eight, an unfortunate drive-through penalty limited Osborne to 24th position.
Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan team-mate Ollie Jackson encountered a vexing weekend, starting with retirement from round seven due to power issues. Meaning a required engine change for round eight, the Motorbase mechanics worked impressively and got Jackson’s Ford Focus ST into the second race with a handful of laps remaining – enabling him to bed the car in for round nine.
Starting the last race at the back of the grid in 28th place, Jackson produced a solid performance to gain no fewer than 10 positions and conclude the last encounter in 18th place – bringing a positive conclusion to the Thruxton event.Ash Sutton – Thruxton Podium
Oly Collins – Motorbase Performance Team Manager:
“What a weekend of highs and lows! It was an absolutely fantastic weekend for Ash with a podium in all three races, and especially to get the result in race three with a great drive. That keeps him in a great position in the championship. Unfortunately, after a mega effort in qualifying, Dan’s weekend was blown apart on lap one in the first race – it’s really difficult to come back through at Thruxton, even more so with some questionable driving by some others on the grid! But Dan had the front runners’ pace all weekend which is rewarding, but also even more frustrating at the same time.
“Much like Dan, Ollie and Sam both had a case of could have been this weekend. Sam ended up being out of position on the grid because his qualifying efforts were ruined through no fault of his own and Ollie suffered a bizarre issue in race one which cost him a weekend of results. They will all bounce back at Oulton I’m sure, the car was another step forward as we continue to develop and learn with the new Hybrid era.”
Ash Sutton – NAPA Racing UK, No.1:
“I enjoyed that one [race three], I felt at one with the car – the car was really good, another podium! I didn’t know what to expect, we made a couple of changes and it was the right way for sure. If we can roll over what we’ve been learning this weekend, and coming into this weekend, and maybe do a bit more of that then we are going in the right direction. So, I’m looking forward to Oulton Park. It’s attacking, it’s my style, so hopefully we can get the car dialled in.”
Dan Cammish – NAPA Racing UK, No.9:
“What can you say about a weekend like that? If it could go wrong it did, but that’s racing sometimes and no matter what you do you get caught-up in other people’s incidents. It’s frustrating as we were quick in qualifying, so close to pole for race one, but the races were obviously a disaster. It makes us more determined than ever though to hit back stronger at Oulton Park in a couple of weeks, I hope we can have better luck there.”
2022 BTCC Drivers Championship
2nd Ash Sutton, 116pts; 13th Dan Cammish, 41pts; 20th Ollie Jackson, 6pts; 23rd Sam Osborne, 1pt
2022 BTCC Manufacturers/Constructors Championship
2nd Motorbase Performance/Ford, 222pts
2022 BTCC Teams Championship
3rd NAPA Racing UK, 158pts; 12th Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, 10pts
2022 Jack Sears Trophy
4th Sam Osborne, 105pts