Ashley Sutton has shared his delight after clinching a third Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship title at Brands Hatch this past weekend (October 23/24).
On what proved to be a thrilling final day of the season around the Grand Prix layout of the Kent venue, the Laser Tools Racing driver kept his cool to join an elite club of drivers to have lifted the biggest prize in UK motorsport on three occasions.
The Infiniti Q50 racer held a 32-point advantage going into the final event of the season and a top six finish in each of the first two races around the iconic Grand Prix circuit was enough to wrap things up before he went on to win the finale.
Alongside clinching his third Drivers’ Championship, the 27-year-old also successfully retained his BTCC Independent Drivers’ crown whilst also helping Laser Tools Racing to win both the Teams’ and Independent Teams’ titles – making it a year to remember.
Sutton’s title treble has now moved him to within one of the all-time record – currently held by Colin Turkington and Andy Rouse – and has made him the youngest ever three-time champion in the history of the BTCC.
Commenting on his title success, Sutton said: “To have been crowned BTCC champion once was a great achievement but to now stand here with three titles is simply incredible! It hasn’t fully sunk in yet but to go back-to-back is just phenomenal – I’m absolutely over the moon!
“Race one and two was just about shadowing what Colin [Turkington] was doing. To wrap it up with a race to spare was great and winning race three was the best way to finish off the season. I could take the handcuffs off and go and do what I wanted which was amazing.
“Coming into the year I knew I had to change my approach a little but early on I was fully focused on getting those big results and more importantly, points on the board. After not finishing at Oulton Park we flicked that switch and since then we’ve been smart, taken our opportunities and extended the lead whenever possible.
“This really has been such a team effort. I’ve got a fantastic group of people around me who have given me an incredible car all year and without them this wouldn’t have been possible. To retain the both the Drivers’ and Independent Drivers’ titles as well as help Laser Tools win the Teams’ and Independent Teams’ is mega!
“I’m now the youngest three-time champion in the history of the series, let’s make it four next year. When all is said and done, I want to be one of the greats of the BTCC and I’m fully focused on winning more championships. Over the past few years I’ve continued to raise my game but I don’t truly think I’ve hit my peak yet; I’ve still got things I can improve on so that is exciting as we move forward.
“We’ll celebrate this and soak up the moment but it won’t be long until the focus starts switching to next year where the goal is to come back and lift this title once again!”
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship returns in 2022, with Donington Park providing the backdrop for the season-opener on April 23/24.