Pole-Sitter Sutton Expects Cook MG Battle At Silverstone

Ashley Sutton praised the efforts of Triple Eight after securing his second pole position in the penultimate Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship qualifying session of the season at Silverstone.

The MG6 GT driver had topped the times in practice earlier in the afternoon, before bagging a second pole position of his rookie BTCC season by just 0.003s to add to the maiden achievement at Donington back in April.

Triple Eight were denied a front row lock-out in the 30-minute qualifying session by the Toyota Avensis of Tom IngramJosh Cook starting third in Sunday’s opening race at the Silverstone national circuit.

Speaking to The Checkered Flag, Sutton praised MG’s performance, saying: “The car is really good. It’s on a knife edge at times, especially through turn one where we’re doing a bit of opposite lock.

“In FP2, we topped the time sheets but the car wasn’t quite right. We made those tiny tweaks and they worked a dream to gain the two tenths that we needed.

Photo: BTCC Media

“To do that with no slipstream whatsoever and know that the others were clutching at straws a bit; I think we’ve done well as a team.”

Following an emotional maiden BTCC win at Croft in June, Sutton’s season was punctuated by incidents at Snetterton and Knockhill that also attracted team-mate Cook after the summer break.

Sutton feels a turn in fortune is now in progress, adding: “We had the big accident at Snetterton and a few little ones at Knockhill, so hopefully we can start fresh.

“We’ve been on a bit of a downward spiral since Croft, so to come back and prove it wasn’t just a one-off thing is important. Hopefully we can do even better tomorrow.”

On his and MG’s chances of success on Sunday, Sutton expects team-mate Cook to provide the stiffest competition of all.

“It’s a shame we didn’t get a one-two. We even went out in that last stint just to drag Josh around. We’re going to be out there for a race win tomorrow and I know Josh is hungry for one! “It’s not going to be easy.”