Reigning BTCC champion Ashley Sutton has cemented his hopes for a third Drivers’ Championship crown with victory during Race Two at Thruxton as he moves 36 points ahead of Tom Ingram as the second half of the season continues.
Sutton looked ominous in Race One and made up four places to surge past ballast laden Josh Cook who finished second ahead of Tom Oliphant with late drama derailing Tom Ingram as a puncture on the last lap saw him lose ground and places rapidly.
To start the race, Cook led off the line as Oliphant dived past Hill into second place but it was Sutton with most of his success ballast stripped that was looking ominous. Hill and Butcher battled it out and Sutton as usual was there to pounce to steal third.
Next up was Oliphant and he dived past the Team BMW driver and set his sights on Cook looking for yet another race win.
As Lap 8/16 began, Sutton was reeling in Cook reducing the gap further below a second as he looked to be defensive to hold position before the Infiniti Q50 would pounce with full ballast on the Honda Civic.
Pounce he did on Lap 11/16 as he got past Cook successfully and surged up the road with Cook now looking to bank important points in second.
Further down, Turkington who himself lost most of his weight spent most of his race battling with Senna Proctor and so only sat in seventh but with Butcher and Ingram squabbling and the former going onto the grass producing an epic save, he joined that pack to attempt to go towards fifth place.
Ingram finally got past Butcher and Turkington got up the inside line of Butcher following along but the latter stood his ground and kept the place. The final lap began and Sutton surged towards the chequered flag.
Ingram further down threw away a load of points with a last lap puncture which saw him come home in 12th which meant his only hope would be a reverse grid pole which was good news for Sutton.
This reverse grid pole headed the way of Adam Morgan though who will start ahead of Senna Proctor, Colin Turkington, Rory Butcher and Jake Hill at around 17:40 BST.