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Super Sutton wins again at Snetterton

Sunday, July 30 2017

Ash Sutton followed up his race one Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship victory at Snetterton today (Sunday), the Subaru man taking the title lead in the process.

Three rear-wheel-drive cars benefitted off the start with Sutton, Andrew Jordan and Jason Plato all seeming to get the jump on second-placed Jack Goff. However, Plato lost out when he tried to take Jordan and the Subaru dropped down the order. This left Goff free to try and attack Sutton, both this time on the harder tyre.

Behind Jordan in third, Rob Collard led Colin Turkington, Mat Jackson, Matt Neal, Jake Hill, Gordon Shedden and Tom Ingram, Plato completing the opening lap in 15th place. Meanwhile Stewart Lines failed to complete the first tour, having slid off the road along with Josh Cook, the Ford Focus's previous incumbent, on the run to Murray's and the safety car was scrambled to recover the stricken car.

At the restart, Sutton made a fine getaway, keeping Goff at arms' length whilst getting his tyres back up to race temperature. Turkington's BMW locked up heavily at the end of the Bentley Straight whilst fending off Jackson's Ford, but a lap later it was the front-wheel-drive car of Goff which was having to work hard to keep the leader of the BMW trio, Jordan at bay.

Into lap eight, Jackson attacked Turkington, and although the Ford nosed ahead at the line, the BMW pulled back in front, giving Shedden the perfect opportunity to attack and the reigning champion claimed a place into Riches. However, the Scotsman was struggling to get on terms with the BMWs ahead, which in turn were queuing behind Goff's Honda, suggesting that the rear-wheel-drive cars held the advantage in this race.

Jordan attacked Goff at Palmer on lap ten, which resulted in two lost places to his BMW team-mates. Goff gained no advantage from the switch, and with hard-charger Collard now behind, looked more vulnerable than ever. Next time around, Shedden took Jordan at Wilson, and when the BMW and Honda collided, Jackson was also past.

The tension continued to ramp up as the race progressed towards its conclusion. On lap 11 Collard attacked with a light tap at Bomb Hole, and Goff was immediately demoted by both BMWs. Jackson then passed into Wilson on the next lap, catching the BMWs just as they disputed second place. Turkington made a very robust pass on his team-mate into the esses, but with two laps to go, had a five-second gap to make up on Sutton.

The action in the pack continued; Jordan re-passed Shedden as James Cole made impressive progress up the top ten to challenge the two champions, having already taken Neal. Into the final lap the field seemed to have sorted itself out and some way ahead, Sutton eased his Subaru home and into the title lead for the first time. Turkington took second place, halving the gap on the road to the leader in the process and Collard completed a double podium for BMW.

Back in eighth place, Cole was drawn as the pole-sitter for race three and with former title leader Shdeen starting alongside him, the final race of the day will be a highly-anticipated encounter when it takes place at 17:02.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Race two

1, Ashley Sutton, Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, Subaru Levorg, 14 Laps
2, Colin Turkington, Team BMW, BMW 125i M-Sport, +2.955s
3, Robert Collard, Team BMW, BMW 125i M-Sport, +3.657s
4, Mat Jackson, Team Shredded Wheat with Duo, Ford Focus, +5.494s
5, Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +8.166s
6, Andrew Jordan, BMW Pirtek Racing, BMW 125i M-Sport, +8.419s
7, Gordon Shedden, Halford Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +8.901s
8, James Cole, Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, Subaru Levorg, 9.388s
9, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type, +10.792s
10, Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +11.765s

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings  after 17 of 30 rounds

1, Ashley Sutton, 210
2, Colin Turkington, 204
3, Gordon Shedden, 200
4, Robert Collard, 199
5, Matt Neal, 157
6, Tom Ingram, 154 

The BRDC British Formula 3 Championship returns to Snetterton on 26/27 August. Tickets are available in advance from £10, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click  here.