Ashley Sutton said it has been ‘a breath of fresh air’ having team-mate Jason Plato back on form after the pair shared victories in the opening two Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races from Knockhill.
Sutton followed Team BMR team-mate Plato home in the opening race of the day, the latter having claimed his first pole position of the season and the 50th of his BTCC career.
Plato lost out to Sutton during the second race of the day but maintained his attack to the chequered flag, Sutton praising the manner in which his team-mate battled him.
“We’ve been told to work together and work cleanly”, Sutton told The Checkered Flag. “We showed we could do that in both races and there are no issues between myself and Jason.
“Even then, we managed to have some good, hard, clean racing. We waited until the last few laps, and it ended fairly.”
The opening race was not without its mishaps however. In an attempt to hand Sutton an extra point for leading a lap, Plato slowed heading to the line as the pair started their final lap. The move was misjudged however, timing putting Plato ahead having registered earlier on the main straight than both believed.
“I’ll be honest, we thought it would be decided at the start line rather than the pitlane entry”, said Sutton. “We got caught out, so we didn’t get a good tick in the box for that race.”
The resurgence of double champion Plato has buoyed Sutton, as the Subaru driver continues to take the fight to Team BMW drivers Colin Turkington and Rob Collard – now two points behind leader Turkington.
“I’m glad”, said Sutton when asked if he has relished having Plato on form.
“It’s a shame to see him falling down the pack this season, so to share the front row with him especially has been like a breath of fresh air for me.
“I’ve got him now back to be a barrier for everybody else if necessary. We’ve been finding something in the car that’s really working, so if we keep zooming in on those improvements then that could make the difference.”