SUTTON COMPLETES OULTON DOUBLE IN TCR UK
Ash Sutton continued his dominance of the TCR UK series races at Oulton Park with a second successive lights-to-flag win in race two, as Ollie Taylor pipped Lewis Kent to second on the last lap.
Sutton inherited pole position when reverse-grid pole-sitter Carl Swift was unable to take up his pole position after a shunt in race one. That gave the Verizon Connect Racing driver a clear run down to the first corner on the opening lap, and the Honda Civic Type-R racer never looked back to cap off a perfect début weekend in TCR.
Second went to Pyro Motorsport’s Taylor on the very last corner of the final lap, as several laps of sustained pressure on Kent (Essex & Kent Motorsport) finally paid dividends for the title challenger. Kent completed the podium in third, having run over the grass on the run up to the finish, to claim his second silverware of the season.
WestCoast Racing’s Dan Lloyd took the chequered flag in fourth, although the championship leader received three points on his licence and a five-place grid penalty for his next race following contact with Stewart Lines (Maximum Motorsport) on lap seven, whilst the duo were scrapping for what was then the final podium place.
Jessica Bäckman (WestCoast Racing) finished in fifth, whilst Lines took the finish in sixth after losing significant time in the contact with Lloyd at Cascades. The CUPRA driver will be buoyed after posting the fastest lap of the race, however. Tim Docker (Maximum Motorsport) and Andreas Bäckman (WestCoast Racing) completed the top ten, the latter after having to pit to deal with gearbox issues.
DPE Motorsport’s Derek Palmer had been running in the final podium position, but the Alfa Romeo driver went off at Lodge Corner on lap six and retired from the race.
Neither Carl Swift (Maximum Motorsport) nor Robert Gilmour (DPE Motorsport) took the start due to the damage their cars sustained in race one.
Ash Sutton (1st) said: “It’s nice to actually have it all in one day, but from yesterday afternoon we’ve topped everything. Yeah OK, we got gifted a second pole, but we’ve topped absolutely everything. The car has been phenomenal, I’ve loved every second of it, and I want to do more!
“The Pyro boys have done a mega job on the car, and Verizon Connect Racing – thanks for having me, that’s all I’m going to say. I wouldn’t mind coming through from the back either to get stuck in a bit like Ollie did – and fair play to him. To get second from where he was is a mega job for him. I had the boys on the radio keeping me up-to-date with what was going on, so well done to him and it’s good for the team.”
Ollie Taylor (2nd) said: “I learnt my lesson a little bit from race one with Dan. I knew neither of us had any tyres left, and Dan was I guess also struggling with tyres as well, so I didn’t have to worry about defending too hard. I just needed to keep the pressure on Lewis – the last lap board came out, and I genuinely thought ‘I don’t know where I’m going to make it happen’.
“I just slowed it down it down extra going into Druids, I got good drive which forced Lewis to go defensive, and I just knew with the tyres he had left kind of what the outcome was going to be. He made it too tight, went out onto the grass and it was a drag to the line.
“We’ve started from the furthest back we have so far this season on a track which is really difficult to overtake on – I learnt that in the first race – so it was always going to be quite difficult. You just had to seize every chance that you could get. I was helped with Stewart and Dan having their coming together, but you just need to capitalise on any chance you get really.
“Dan and I then had a bit of a drag down to Island [corner] and it was going to be the bravest going through! It was the only change I think I was going to get to get Dan. You couldn’t hesitate, just focus on your line and not look at what they were doing. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, but you’ve got to be there to capitalise on it.”
Lewis Kent (3rd) said: “We knew we just had to stick behind Ash and just follow him around. I did that for most of the race until the last two laps, when I saw Ollie and Dan catching quite quickly. My tyres went off very much halfway through the race, so I didn’t have a lot of steering. I got to the last corner, tried to hold it on the apex and make Ollie go around the outside, but I put my foot down and it kind of felt like wheelspin.
“I like to think I’m quite good under pressure. I saw Ollie and Dan, and at the end of the day all I think is they’re just two other drivers, two more people like me. I saw them coming up but I thought to myself ‘it’s alright – there’s only three minutes left’. I’m really happy – it’s been a really good day and good points collected for us which will hopefully move us up the championship and move us along from there.”