Ashley Sutton admits he had to dig deep during the penultimate qualifying session to salvage a fifth row start for the opening race of the day tomorrow.
Entering the weekend holding a 12-point advantage in the championship, the Team BMR driver hustled his Subaru Levorg to tenth – despite ladened with 75kgs of success ballast.
Despite enduring his worst qualifying performance since Donington Park [where he was excluded], the 23-year-old was happy to have his main title rival, Colin Turkington, in his sights.
“I’m mentally drained after that one, I really had to dig deep,” Sutton told BTCC Crazy. “There was a lot of pressure to deliver there. We are sitting ducks on the straights so we had really had to give it 120% throughout just to be in with a shout of the top.
“James [Cole] towed me round early on but when we bolted the second set of tyres on I was in no-mans land almost. Once we began to figure out where everyone was I just latched on to the back of Stephen Jelley and drove one of my best laps I can remember.
“To get down to a 58.9 was as good as it was going to get. The important thing is that I can see where Colin is and he is right in front of me – the aim is to make sure I stick with him or better him now.”
Looking ahead to the tomorrow’s three races, he added: “I’m expecting race day to be tough. The plus point of being where we are is that I will be in the slipstream a lot of the time.
“I need to bury myself under a rear wing and seen what we can. The aim is to move forward but we need to think about the big picture too.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography