BTCC Knockhill: Sutton takes first Ford win after close Hill fight

Reigning British Touring Car champion Ash Sutton finally claimed his first victory of the 2022 season at Knockhill after another thrilling battle with Jake Hill.

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Sutton capitalised on the mistakes of first-race winner Hill to score his maiden win since joining the Motorbase Performance Ford Focus squad for this season.

Hill got a decent start from pole to hold the lead in his West Surrey Racing BMW 330e M Sport, and made a good restart after an early safety car.

The Kentishman appeared to hold all the cards, but on the second lap after the restart he ran wide at the chicane and through the gravel, allowing Sutton into the lead.

Sutton pulled out a small advantage mid-race, but Hill began to reel in the Ford once again, and with nine laps remaining they ran side by the side at the hairpin.

But, shortly after this, Hill made another trip to the gravel at the chicane, and this allowed the sister BMW of Colin Turkington into second place.

Now it was Turkington’s turn to make an error – the four-time champion ran wide at the top of Duffus Dip, ran down the escape road, and saw Hill sail back ahead of him into McIntyre’s.

There were now almost seven laps remaining, and Sutton’s tyres were fading, allowing Hill to close in once again.

As they approached the hairpin on the final lap, Hill appeared to be taking a speculative look, but it turned out to be a serious effort – he drew alongside Sutton on the exit, and there was minor contact before the Ford squirmed across the line just in front.

“It was made a little bit easier with Jake’s mistake, but I think he was just trying to match what we were doing at the chicane, and that’s been our strongest point all weekend, so I was full send every lap,” said Sutton.

“The last couple of laps my rear tyres had had enough, which shocked me, but I thought I wasn’t letting that one go.”

Tom Ingram, Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 Hyundai i30N

Tom Ingram, Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 Hyundai i30N

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Behind Turkington, championship leader Tom Ingram had a lonely race once he’d passed Stephen Jelley on the opening lap to take fourth in his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N.

Jelley clung on to fifth for three quarters of the race, despite a massive gaggle breathing down the WSR BMW driver’s neck, but he finally cracked with a few laps remaining.

Gordon Shedden came through to take fifth in his Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R from the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla of Rory Butcher, with George Gamble (Ciceley Motorsport BMW) also passing Jelley to take seventh.

BTCC rookie Gamble was then drawn on reversed-grid pole position by visiting BTCC legend John Cleland.

Behind Jelley, the top 10 was rounded out by Dan Cammish’s Motorbase Ford and Tom Chilton’s Excelr8 Hyundai.

Josh Cook’s struggles continued, with the title-contending BTC Racing Honda star struggling to 13th place.

Result - 26 laps:

Cla Driver Gap
1 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton
2 United Kingdom Jake Hill
3 United Kingdom Colin Turkington
4 United Kingdom Tom Ingram
5 United Kingdom Gordon Shedden
6 United Kingdom Rory Butcher
7 George Gamble
8 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley
9 United Kingdom Dan Cammish
10 United Kingdom Tom Chilton
11 United Kingdom Ricky Collard
12 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat
13 United Kingdom Josh Cook
14 Dexter Patterson
15 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom
16 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith
17 Sam Osborne
18 United Kingdom Adam Morgan
19 Michael Crees
20 Jade Edwards
21 United Kingdom Ollie Jackson
22 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd
23 Jack Butel
24 Nicolas Hamilton
25 Rick Parfitt Jr.
1 Lap
26 United Kingdom Jason Plato
2 Laps
United Kingdom Ash Hand
5 Laps
Bobby Thompson
14 Laps
Will Powell
25 Laps

BTCC Knockhill: Hill wins Race 1 after thrilling Sutton fight

BTCC Knockhill: Gamble claims maiden BTCC win in finale