The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship heads to Thruxton this weekend for rounds seven, eight and nine of the 2019 campaign, the first of two visits to the circuit this year.
After his fantastic weekend last time out, 2017 champion Ashley Sutton leads the standings – just three points ahead of BTC Racing’s Josh Cook.
However, despite his strong start to the season, Sutton has claimed his BMR team are already “operating at 100% capacity” and is not confident of extending his championship lead this weekend.
“Don’t ask me how I am top of the points,” said Sutton.
“I don’t think we’ve got much more left in the tank from a team/driver point of view. We are operating at 100% capacity at the minute.
“I wasn’t expecting [to lead], I’ll be honest. It was just a case of collecting points and that’s got us to where we are.”
Sutton has put his good start to the season down to luck, adding how the two wet qualifying sessions we’ve had this year at Brands Hatch and Donington have suited his Subaru – allowing him to put himself at the front of the grid.
“I think the difference is that we’ve actually had a bit of lady luck,” continued Sutton.
“If you think about both qualifying sessions both have been wet-ish and it’s just allowed us to put ourselves towards the front end of the grid.
“All we’ve done is maximise the points around us in the position we’re in. It seems to have paid off and it’s nice having some luck at the start of the year.”
At the annual TOCA test day at the Hampshire venue around a month ago, it was Dan Cammish and Chris Smiley who topped the time sheets in their Honda Civic Type R FK8’s.
It’s been a difficult start to the season for Cammish who sits 14th in the driver’s championship heading into Thruxton this weekend.
However, the reigning Jack Sears champion says he’s going into the weekend with ‘his tail held high.’
“I’m going to Thruxton with my tail held high, after topping the times at the recent test there,” said Cammish.
“This season is only just beginning for me, and I need to secure a strong points haul to get myself back into contention for the championship title.”
Smiley will also be looking to bounce back this weekend after a weekend of mixed results at Donington Park with a seventh in race one before ending the second race in the gravel. Smiley managed to claw back a few points in the third and final race of the day with an 11th place finish leaving him 17th in the drivers’ standings at the end of play.
As always with Thruxton, tyre wear will be key with the track causing punctures in the past because of the high-speed nature of the circuit.
You can catch all three races live on ITV4 this Sunday.
Header image from BTCC
By Jordan Hollands