Ashley Sutton will return to Team BMR for the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship behind the wheel of one of the team’s quartet of Subaru Levorg GTs.
The 23-year-old will therefore be reunited with BMR team boss Warren Scott at the squad which took him to the 2015 Renault UK Clio Cup title, joining James Cole and double BTCC champion, Jason Plato, at Subaru for the coming season.
Sutton excelled in his rookie season at Triple Eight in an MG6 GT, with two pole positions and a race victory at Croft among the highlights as he clinched the Jack Sears Trophy for finishing top rookie overall.
Sutton said “I am over the moon to be offered such a great opportunity. Not for one second did I think that two years down the line I would be a part of the BMR factory team; let alone with such a newly bred BTCC manufacture as Subaru.
“I thought I had hit the jackpot in my debut season in securing a manufacture drive; but now being a part of Subaru, and the package that comes with that, has certainly topped it for me.
“Last year I accomplished all of the personal goals I had set for myself, I know that 2016 going to be hard, but I feel I have all the correct tools to move those goal posts and set myself some bigger challenges! Going into the final round in with a shot for the championship is the biggest aim – but this is the pinnacle of British motorsport, it’s the British Touring Car Championship, so I know it’s not going to come easy!
“I have been asked what my thoughts are on jumping into a rear wheel drive car and to be completely honest I am I’m going back to my roots. I have only had two years in front wheel drive throughout my whole racing career, so I can’t wait to be back where I belong. I’m looking forward to the intense testing program we have planned.
“Working alongside Jason, someone I have always looked up to, is something of an added bonus for me. There are three things that have made this academy journey come alive, those being; my family, all my loyal sponsors, and Warren Scott himself for giving me this opportunity. All I can say now is, roll on Brands!”
Team-mate Plato enters with 95 pole positions and 113 victories to his name, but will be gunning for a third BTCC title in 2017 after one win last season at Knockhill.
“I predict 2017 will bring much success, I’m energised and looking forward to fighting for the championship”, said Plato.
“Our team goes from strength to strength. We have a fantastic new addition to the driver squad in young Ash Sutton, I’m certainly expecting him to be right in the thick of the action. Testing begins in two weeks and I can’t wait.”
The team is yet to announce a driver for its fourth Subaru Levorg.
Sutton’s now former team, Triple Eight, recently announced Aron Taylor-Smith and Daniel Lloyd as its drivers in place of Sutton and 2016 team-mate, Josh Cook.