Before Ingram wins finale
NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton scored a supreme Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship double triumph at Snetterton earlier today (21 May), before BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8’s Tom Ingram took victory in the finale at the Norfolk circuit.
West Surrey Racing stablemates Colin Turkington and Jake Hill both reached the rostrum on two occasions during the day, whilst TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK’s Rory Butcher and NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Rowbottom completed the podium in the reverse grid race.
Sutton now holds a seven-point advantage in the Drivers’ standings ahead of reigning champion Ingram, with Turkington currently third overall.
Sutton keeps Hill at bay
Three-time champ Sutton took his 30th career BTCC victory in the opening contest, as he held off a late charge from Hill’s Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW.
Sutton made a sensational start – immediately pulling away from the chasing pack – as BMW duo Turkington and Hill slipped into second and third, respectively.
Sutton had already pulled out a three-second gap in as many laps, but a fight for the lead eventually materialised when Hill made an opportunistic move past Turkington for second in the closing stages.
Hill’s pace was blistering as he hauled in Sutton’s #116 Ford Focus at a rapid rate. Unfortunately for the Kent driver, he simply ran out of time with the pair separated by just 0.270s as the chequered flag waved.
Turkington claimed a podium ahead of Ingram and Team BMW’s Adam Morgan and Stephen Jelley.
Sutton secures Snetterton double
NAPA Racing UK star Sutton continued his domination of the event, as he claimed the second win of the day and his fourth successive victory of the season – following on from his recent successes at Brands Hatch.
The 29-year-old led from lights-to-flag and was never under any pressure as both he and the impressive Motorbase Performance-run Ford Focus worked in complete harmony around the Snetterton 300 layout.
Hill and Turkington ran line astern to complete the podium once more, whilst Rowbottom continued to make impressive progress with fourth place.
Ingram takes his first win of 2023
BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8’s Ingram fought his way from seventh on the grid to win the finale around the 2.97-mile circuit.
Rowbottom had carved his way into the lead on lap two and looked to have victory in his sights, but the Hyundai of Ingram, Toyota of Butcher and NAPA Racing UK team-mate Dan Cammish were soon making similar progress.
Ingram disposed of Butcher’s Corolla early on and then made a move stick for the lead by Rowbottom at Riches on lap five. Butcher got past Rowbottom on the same lap and the leading pair began pulling away.
Cammish – starting 11th on the grid – then set about attacking for victory in the closing stages as he disposed of Rowbottom and Butcher before carving into Ingram’s advantage.
Ingram fended him off until the finish by just 0.587s, but there was drama post-race when Cammish’s car failed ride height checks and he was subsequently disqualified from the result.
Butcher inherited second, bringing some reward for his TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK squad, whilst the NAPA-backed duo of Rowbottom and Sutton completed the top four.
The Motorbase-Ford/NAPA Racing UK outfit top both the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ standings, whilst Josh Cook leads the Independents Drivers’ standings after he surged from 26th to fifth in the final race.
Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils hold sway in the Independent Teams’ order, whilst Sam Osborne is the Jack Sears Trophy front-runner.
Turkington heads the Goodyear Wingfoot Award as the top qualifier so far this season.
Ash Sutton, NAPA Racing UK, said: “The car was on absolute rails. I said to the boys and girls at NAPA Racing 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.”
Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8, said: “That was hard work – the whole day has been fairly hard work! I’m glad to have got that one done and today done. Definitely very, very pleased to finish it off with a win.
“This place [Snetterton] has always been really good to us as a team over the years. We got our first win back in 2021, the first win for EXCELR8, and it’s a circuit I’ve always just really enjoyed and done well at. Really, really pleased. A good way to top it off, that’s for sure!”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Snetterton (300)
1. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK 12 Laps
2. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +0.270s
3. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +3.553s
4. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +4.541s
5. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +12.961s
6. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +13.177s
7. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +24.648s
8. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +29.285s
9. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +32.283s
10. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +32.562s
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 2 – Snetterton (300)
1. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK 12 Laps
2. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +3.614s
3. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +4.370s
4. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +4.653s
5. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +10.968s
6. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +14.681s
7. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +15.769s
8. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +20.304s
9. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +20.726s
10. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +20.806s
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 3 – Snetterton (300)
1. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 11 Laps
2.Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +5.594s
3. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +6.869s
4. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +9.428s
5. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +15.122s
6. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +16.241s
7. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +16.349s
8. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +16.993s
9. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +17.832s
10. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +18.096s
Nick Halstead has had 5 points deducted from the Drivers’ Championship scores having changed an engine above the number permitted
Dan Cammish was disqualified from the result of Round 9, after his car failed post-race ride height checks