Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton
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BTCC Analysis

Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton

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Ballast will be gone from the BTCC next year as hybrid power enters the scene, but for its final season the maximum was increased from 60kg to 75kg. Despite having to carry that nearly all season, Ash Sutton was always the favourite to pocket a third title - the 27-year-old getting his reward for a season of speed tempered by savvy to nail his opportunities

Qualifying for the opening round of the season is the single most significant session of the British Touring Car Championship year. Why? Because it's the first of only two competitive outings in which no one is carrying any success ballast. The second is the opening race, but here random incidents can skew the formbook.

Back in May at Thruxton, the field faced a damp track and it was a case of getting the slicks on at the right time as the surface dried out, so perhaps the significance of such an occasion was diluted. That's what 28 of the 29 drivers and their teams would have preferred to think. But really, the fact that it was Ash Sutton who emerged on top proved to be an accurate barometer to the season ahead.

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