Donington Park BTCC: Sutton scores maiden Infiniti win in Race 3

Ash Sutton took a scintillating first-time win for the Infiniti Q50 in the final race of the British Touring Car Championship opening round at Donington Park.

Donington Park BTCC: Sutton scores maiden Infiniti win in Race 3

The 2017 champion had been quick all weekend on his first competitive outing with the rear-wheel-drive Laser Tools Racing machine, and the victory represented an extraordinary recovery after a first-race incident left him momentarily down in 26th and last.

Sutton stormed to 14th in that opening race, before charging to fifth in the second, putting him eighth on the grid for the reversed-grid finale. He picked up one spot on the opening lap, as Ollie Jackson led in his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus, having got a better launch at the start than the polesitting Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 of Chris Smiley.

An early safety car, thanks to a backmarker in the gravel at the Old Hairpin, provided a short interruption before Jackson carried on his good work of fending off Smiley, who in turn was under attack from Josh Cook’s BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R, with Adam Morgan making it a four-car train in the Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes A-Class.

Smiley’s move came on the seventh lap, with a superb dive at the Old Hairpin, and Jackson was railroaded down to fifth over the following corners.

Sutton had just latched onto this group, and the frenetic action allowed him to pass Morgan for third into Coppice, with 10 laps still remaining.

He wasted little time hunting down the leaders, dispatching Cook into the chicane on the following lap, and pulling off an identical move on Smiley on the following tour. Sutton pulled clear to win by 2.280 seconds, while Smiley did an excellent job to stave off the attentions of Cook to the finish, with Morgan fourth.

Read Also:

Tom Ingram squeezed his Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyota Corolla ahead of Dan Cammish’s Team Dynamics-run works Honda into the chicane for sixth with four laps to go, and only just ran out of time to catch fifth-placed Jackson at the finish. Matt Neal shadowed team-mate Cammish home in eighth, while the ballasted West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330i M Sports of Tom Oliphant and Colin Turkington rounded out the top 10.

Race-two winner Turkington was able to make little progress from 12th on the grid, even dropping to 13th at the start, and Rory Butcher was in a similar boat – second in race two, he lost several places in one fell swoop mid-race and finished 11th.

The leading group lost the Team Parker Racing BMW 125i of Stephen Jelley from its midst on the sixth lap when he looped it at the chicane, delaying Neal as he slid across the track.

shares
comments
Donington Park BTCC: Turkington takes dominant Race 2 win

Previous article

Donington Park BTCC: Turkington takes dominant Race 2 win

Next article

Brands Hatch BTCC: Butcher puts new Ford on pole

Brands Hatch BTCC: Butcher puts new Ford on pole
Load comments
Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC Prime

Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC

It’s been a busy silly season in the BTCC since the chequered flag fell to end the 2020 campaign last November. While last year’s top two have stayed put, there’s been a lot of fat to chew elsewhere, which should result in another fascinating year of tin-top action.

BTCC
May 7, 2021
Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out' Prime

Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out'

After a year of enforced absence from the British Touring Car Championship grid, Jason Plato is back and hungrier than ever. Despite stellar opposition and some familiar challenges, the two-time champion still has his eyes focused on the biggest prizes.

BTCC
May 5, 2021
The Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020

The 2020 British Touring Car Championship will go down as a classic in which new winners graced the top step of the podium and an unloved chassis was resurrected into a champion. But who were the year's top performers?

BTCC
Dec 24, 2020
The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020 Prime

The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020

The Infiniti Q50 was completely redesigned, redeveloped and revamped by BMR and Laser Tools Racing for 2020. And the flamboyant brilliance of the driver behind the wheel was enough to snatch the title at the last gasp…

BTCC
Dec 11, 2020
Why the BTCC social media trolls have got it wrong Prime

Why the BTCC social media trolls have got it wrong

A number of drivers on this year's British Touring Car Championship grid have been called out on social media for taking other people's seats, whether they are older or drivers who are deemed to have less talent. Matt James busts the myth

BTCC
Mar 27, 2019
How the BTCC's class of 2018 ranked each other Prime

How the BTCC's class of 2018 ranked each other

The BTCC keeps getting more competitive - this season produced another new record number of winners. That made picking a final top 10 an unenviable task, so we enlisted the help of those who were in the heat of the action to decide the order.

BTCC
Nov 2, 2018
Can a champion be worthy if he only won one race? Prime

Can a champion be worthy if he only won one race?

Titles should be won by the driver who claims more victories than anyone else, so convention goes. Does the unpredictable nature of the British Touring Car Championship render that notion obsolete?

BTCC
Oct 10, 2018
BTCC's hybrid future faces urgent hurdles Prime

BTCC's hybrid future faces urgent hurdles

The British Touring Car Championship recently announced it is investigating how to incorporate hybrid technology into its future machines. In doing so it's following the higher echelons of motorsport, while also revealing risks for its grassroots.

BTCC
Aug 19, 2018