Ashley Sutton says he is ready to embark on one of the biggest weekend’s in his career as he seeks to become BTCC champion at Brands Hatch GP.
In what has been a remarkable season for the Team BMR driver, Sutton has fought his way to the summit of the standings and enters the finale holding a ten point advantage over Colin Turkington.
Failing to score a single point at the 2017 curtain-raiser, the Subaru Levorg driver has since notched six wins and seven further podium finishes.
Seeking to become the youngest BTCC champion since John Fitzpatrick in 1966, the 23-year-old admits he can’t wait to get the final event of the season as he bids to add his name to coveted trophy.
“I can’t wait to get going,” Sutton told BTCC Crazy. “I’ll try to approach the weekend the same as any other but it does feel quite different. In the Renault UK Clio Cup I was the hunter, here I’m being hunted.
“Up until this point I haven’t really been in that championship mindset, it has all been about scoring big results and collecting the points. Now that we are leading going into the final round it is important to take stock and reset.
“Qualifying is going to be crucial. We need to be near the front and around Colin to give us the best chance of outscoring him in races one and two. At the moment I’m calm but I’m sure that will change on race day. I know what I need to do and I’m confident that the team will give me the best chance of fulfilling what we all want to achieve.”
Taking to the Grand Prix layout of the Kent venue, Sutton is optimistic that the rear-wheel-drive Levorg will be a force to be reckoned with, especially given how title rival Turkington performed in the car at last year’s final round (taking two wins).
“Brands Hatch is a circuit I love,” he admitted. “I’ve always gone well around there so rain or shine and I consider it as home turf. Considering Colin won two races in the Subaru at the series finale last year, I can take confidence that we will have a strong car – despite carrying 75kgs of ballast.”
With the likes of Jason Plato and engineer Carl Faux amongst the Team BMR ranks, Sutton is keen to draw off their experience of both challenging and winning what is widely considered as the biggest prize in British motorsport.
He explained: “It would be foolish of me to not get advice from the likes of Jason and Carl as they know what it takes to win in this championship as well as the pressures that come with the finale. Any tips that they can give me will be invaluable.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography