Ashley Sutton: “Winning second BTCC title is an absolute dream”

Ashley Sutton has admitted that it is an ‘absolute dream’ to have become a two-time champion of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship after wrapping up the crown at Brands Hatch this past weekend.

The Laser Tools Racing driver had entered the season finale with ground to make up on Colin Turkington and he did just that as he powered his Infiniti Q50 to second place in race one before scoring an empathic win in race two.

Sitting in the box seat heading into the final contest of the campaign, the rear-wheel-drive ace battled his way to sixth place amidst the tricky conditions to seal the most coveted prize in UK motorsport for the second time, having previously won it in 2017 in a Subaru Levorg.

In addition, Sutton made it a year to remember by also clinching the BTCC Independent Drivers’ Championship and helped guide Laser Tools Racing to a maiden BTCC Independent Teams’ Championship.

Commenting on his success, Sutton said: “Two-time British Touring Car Champion – what a feeling! This one feels even sweeter than back in 2017 and it’s an absolute dream; it’s been a while since an Independent team won the overall championship and huge credit has to go to everyone at Laser Tools Racing, BMR Engineering, all of the teams sponsors, my own personal sponsors, my family and friends – none of this would have been possible without them.

“They say that the second title is easier to win than the first but I can tell you that isn’t the case at all. We came into the weekend as prepared as we could have been and I was feeling confident we would be strong in those wet conditions – I love them.

“I said I was going to come all guns blazing and I did that to a point, however I’ve learnt the lesson at Croft and knew that we had to be smart. Scoring a podium in the first race was a great start and then the car came alive in race two, it surprised me a bit. In race three I wasn’t willing to make a move on Colin until he made a mistake or left the door open, which he did and I made the most of it. I’d like to think that we won the championship in that last race with the inner racer showing.

“Back in March at Media Day we rolled out this brand new car but because of the pandemic we basically had to put it back on the shelf. We’ve had our ups and downs but everyone has pulled together to achieve three titles is phenomenal; not bad at all for a first year.

“Standing on that podium wasn’t the same without the fans, they really make the BTCC what it is. Hopefully we’ve been able to put on a show for everyone this season during what has been a difficult year and fingers crossed we will be able to welcome them back trackside in 2021.

“We’ll savour this moment but I’m really looking forward to what lies ahead. I want to make my mark on the BTCC, keep racking up the wins, podiums, championships and achieve the sort of things like Lewis [Hamilton] has done in F1.”