It was a day to remember for MG driver Ashley Sutton who claimed his first ever Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) win, and MG's first of the season, at Croft this afternoon.
His maiden victory, in the rain in race three, followed his first BTCC podium earlier in the day on what turned out to be another thrilling day of racing.
The day started well for Sutton who finished a brilliant third in race one. After recovering from being overtaken off the line by the rear wheel drive Subaru of Jason Plato and BMW of Sam Tordoff, the rookie quickly regained his third place, earned impressively in Saturday's qualifying, when Daniel Lloyd and Tordoff ran off the track on the opening lap.
He defended sterlingly for the majority of the race, albeit always looking in control, to fend of the advances of the BMW of Jack Goff to earn a richly-deserved place on the podium - the first of his career and first in an MG.
Josh Cook's fortunes, however, were not so good. He started the race well, making his way but to 13th, after qualifying 18th, but then suffered with his tyres after sliding off track and subsequently fell back to 18th. He ended up crossing the line in 17th.
Colin Turkington dominated to take a lights to flag victory in a one-two for Subaru.
Once again, the rear wheel drive cars showed their pace off the line in race two as Sutton, starting from third, was out-dragged off the line by the BMWs of Goff and Rob Collard. Another terrifically spirited performance, on the slower hard tyres, saw Sutton stave off the challenge of Matt Jackson to earn a fifth placed finish as the fastest front wheel drive car of the race
Cook drove well in difficult circumstances, starting 17th, to cross the line in 14th.
But the memorable moment was as the rain came over the north east for race three. The reverse grid saw Sutton promoted one place to fourth, but after dropping to sixth off the line and a first car safety car, there was nothing that could stop the rookie earning his first victory at this level. Fastest laps and great overtaking moves, all culminating in a superb penultimate lap move on Sam Tordoff that secured his place on the top stop of the podium.
Teammate Cook, who recovered from a troublesome day, also drove superbly as he fought his way from 14th, up to sixth to secure some good solid points.
The BTCC goes on its six-week summer break and returns on 30/31 July for rounds 16, 17, and 18 at Snetterton.
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