Sutton hangs on to Championship lead after a bumpy ride for BMR

The 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will be decided at Brands Hatch in nine days time after another eventful weekend of racing left the title in the balance.

Silverstone was never going to be easy for the Subaru Levorgs with the National Circuit favouring front wheel drive cars, coupled with the fact that the team had been hit with another boost adjustment.

Qualifying on Saturday afternoon confirmed the teams performance suspicions as Ash Sutton set the tenth quickest time, with Jason Plato eleventh, James Cole twelfth and Josh Price in the BMR Academy Levorg coming in nineteenth place.

Incredibly the entire 32 car field was covered by less than a second with Jack Goff claiming pole position.

Race One was full of drama as rain began to fall on parts of the circuit making conditions extremely tricky. A multi-car incident on lap 14 allowed Ash to move past Whorton-Eales just before the safety car was brought out.

This is where Sutton would finish, right behind his main Championship contender Turkington in fourth, with James finishing just outside the points in seventeenth.

Everything was to play for in Race Two and it was Ingram who made a brilliant start from pole position but the Honda driver couldn’t pull away from Goff who was sticking to his tail. A fantastic battle culminated in a victory for the Eurotech Racing driver - his first for the team.

All eyes then turned to the final podium position with Championship leader Sutton completing a last gasp move on rival Turkington on the approach to Woodcote.

However stewards reviewed the incident post-race and Ash was subsequently penalised for the pass handing the podium place to Turkington.

It looked as if the Championship title was slipping away as a third penalty of the season resulted in the young Subaru star having to start the final contest from the back of the grid.

With added determination, the team focused on the task in hand and Ash set his target of getting up through the field and in to a scoring position.

The lights went out for the final time of the day and there were yet more twists and turns to come.

During the early stages Turkington’s BMW got caught up in an incident and ended what turned out to be a disappointing weekend given the fact he couldn’t capitalise on his rivals earlier penalty.

Incredibly Sutton managed to climb up through the places and move in to eleventh where he took the checkered flag and retained his Championship lead.

Speaking on his weekend Ash commented: “Silverstone was always going to be a tough weekend for us as a team but even more so for me due to carrying full success ballast.

“The goal this weekend was to try and take as little of a hit as possible in regard to the Championship, matching my rivals was key and taking advantage of a gap to gain would be great.

“This has left me in a very strong position heading into the final round and I am looking forward to carrying this momentum.

“It is my strongest track of the season, I love Brands Hatch GP and after last year’s performance I am feeling confident heading into the finale.”

Leaving Silverstone Ash remained top of the drivers standings on 338 points with Turkington just ten points behind. Subaru remain second in the manufacturers standings just 46 points shy of BMW.

Adrian Flux Subaru Racing are third in the team standings with rivals Halfords Yuasa Racing a single point ahead with 480. Team BMW remain top with 573 points.

Brands Hatch will play host to the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship finale a week on Saturday.

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