Team BMR Subaru drivers Ashley Sutton and James Cole both had something to celebrate at Rockingham
James Attwood, digital editor
27 August 2017

Team BMR Subaru Levorg driver Ashley Sutton bolstered his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title challenge with his sixth win of the season at Rockingham Motor Speedway.

Sutton won the second of the three races at the Northamptonshire track, also taking a second and a fifth place. He now leads BMW driver Colin Turkington by 12 points with two races weekends remaining.

It was also a good weekend for Sutton’s team-mate James Cole, who claimed his first career BTCC win ahead of Sutton in the opening race. Andrew Jordan (BMW) claimed his third win of 2017 in the finale.

Race one

Having claimed his maiden BTCC pole position in qualifying, Cole cruised to a comfortable win in the first race of the day.

Team Eurotech Honda Civic racer (and sometime Rolls-Royce driver) Jack Goff harried Cole in the early stages, but his pace faded later in the race. Goff then ran wide at the hairpin on the final lap, allowing Sutton to grab second.

Josh Cook took fourth in his MG ahead of works Honda driver Matt Neal, who battled past title chaser Turkington on lap three.

Title hopeful Gordon Shedden, in the second works Honda, had a disastrous race, finishing in 30th place after a late-race puncture.

Race two

Sutton stormed to victory after pulling off a brave move to pass both Cole and Goff around the outside of the hairpin on the opening lap.

He quickly built up a lead, and was unchallenged despite a mid-race safety car, caused by a race-ending accident for Shedden, allowing the pack to close up.

Cook battled past Cole for second early on, with the race one winner then running wide and falling down the order. He eventually finished 13th.

Cook and Neal clashed while battling for second shortly after the safety car, allowing Mat Jackson (Ford Focus) to claim the runner-up place ahead of Turkington and Jason Plato (Subaru Levorg). 

Race three

Jordan was drawn on pole for the final race of the day, and withstood pressure from a number of rivals to take victory.

Adam Morgan (Mercedes) and Goff harried the WSR BMW driver early on. Goff again faded later in the race, and lost third place to Plato when he was involved in an incident with Rob Collard (BMW). The clash forced Collard out of the race.

Sutton finished fifth ahead of nearest title rival Turkington, extending his lead to 12 points. Shedden could only recover to 12th place and has now fallen to 55 points behind Sutton. Collard is a further point back.

The next three rounds take place at Silverstone on September 16/17.

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29 August 2017

Some exciting racing there, with the cars close and a chess game being played out with racing cars. Nice to see some heavy reprimands when deserved too. Ash Sutton is a complete star.

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