Having scored a record-breaking 62 points at Brands Hatch in the previous meeting, NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton headed to the longest circuit on the calendar sitting third in the championship standings.
A successful weekend saw him secure his first pole of the season, two wins and an incredible fourth place, despite being on the hard compound tyre, describing the car “the best touring car I’ve ever driven”.
Sutton sailed to pole for the first time this year, making it a hat-trick of pole positions for NAPA Racing UK, having seen Dan Rowbottom take the top spot at Donington Park and Dan Cammish repeating the feat at Brands Hatch.
The session was twice interrupted during the early phase of qualifying with the first caused by fluid which was deposited across the track at Coram. The second of the two red flags came when Dan Cammish made contact with the barrier on his second flying lap, subsequently having to start the race at the back of the grid.
When the session finally got underway, many drivers were yet to set a representative lap time. However, Sutton was yet again in a class of his own as he stormed to pole position, setting a new qualifying lap record of 1:54.526.
Sutton made a sensational start, immediately pulling away from the pack and creating a comfortable lead with an incredible three second gap after just three laps. Meanwhile Cammish, chose to run the hard compound tyre making extraordinary progress to move himself into 11th place.
With the chequered flag in sight, Sutton managed to hold off a late charge from Jake Hill to take his third win of the season.
Sutton continued his domination in race 2, claiming his second win of the day and becoming the first driver since 1997 to secure four BTCC race wins in a row. It was an incredible drive from Sutton who led from lights out to the chequered flag to take the win with a 3.6 second margin.
After starting in P7, Daniel Rowbottom continued to make impressive progress through the field eventually finishing in P4. Meanwhile, Jack Sears Championship leader Sam Osborne finished in P9, while Cammish crossed the line in P11.
As the weekend drew to a close, one race remained and it was still all to play for with the reversed grid in place.
Rowbottom – 3rd
Sutton – 6th
Osborne – 9th
Cammish – 11th
As the lights went out Rowbottom had an excellent start, carving his way into the lead by lap two. Unfortunately, on better tyres, those behind managed to get passed, demoting him to third. Meanwhile, Cammish, after starting in 11th, had a sensational start moving his way through the field into P2. He then set about attacking for victory in the closing stages with just 0.587s between him and Tom Ingram as they crossed the line.
Unfortunately after post-race checks, the result was taken away but still an incredible and well fought drive by Cammish. After a fantastic result by Rowbottom he gained some valuable points and a the last minute P3 in the final race of the day.
It was another perfect weekend for Osborne as he walks away from Snetterton still in the lead of the Jack Sears standings after winning the trophy for the second weekend running.
MINI CHALLENEGE JCW
With the support races taking place, the JCW’s had mixed fortune weekend. But with Lewis Selby starting in P12 and Jamie Osborne in P19 for race 3, everything was still to play for. As the lights went green, both drivers had some incredible battles, with Osborne going from the back of the grid to P9 and Selby finishing in P11.
ASH SUTTON – NAPA RACING UK, NO.116
“The car was on absolute rails. I said to the boys and girls at NAPA Racing UK that this is the best touring car I’ve ever driven. We had to pounce at the starts, as we know how long it can take for the rear-wheel drive cars to get the tyres up to temperature.
“We haven’t changed the car since Brands Hatch and it’s just working so well. There might be days where it doesn’t quite feel like this, but for now it’s just mega.”
OLY COLLINS – TEAM MANAGER
“Another fantastic weekend at NAPA Racing UK, I’m enjoying this!
To get three poles in a row is outstanding, to do it with three different drivers just shows the depth of talent we have throughout the team. Then to transfer Saturday’s one lap performance into a masterclass on Sunday was so good to watch. In race trim Ash was dominant today, simply in a class of his own up front, Dan Cammish drove superbly from the back and we almost demonstrated the perfect recovery drive. It was mega to see Rowbo leading the way in race three and securing his first silverware for the year and another Jack Sears trophy for Sam after some great performances from him earlier on in the day completes the squad.
I said at the start of the season that we believe we have the best drivers & crew on the grid and today I think they proved it.”
1st – Ash Sutton: 135
4th – Dan Cammish: 98
6th – Dan Rowbottom: 69
14th – Sam Osborne: 35
JACK SEARS TROPHY
1st – Sam Osborne: 139
1st – NAPA Racing UK: 236
1st – Motorbase Performance/ Ford: 251
Next stop, Thruxton for Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the BTCC championship on the 03/04 June.