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Mixed fortunes for Callum Ilott at Hungaroring in Formula 2 and Ashley Sutton at Snetterton in British Touring Cars Championship


By Michael Vaughton


Callum Ilott fought hard to clinch two top-10 finishes in the latest round of Formula 2 in Hungary.

The former Bishop's Stortford College student bagged a point from the eighth weekend of the season, leaving him in 14th place in the standings with 28 points.

The drivers had to contend with the first wet session of the campaign at Budapest's Hungaroring and Ilott secured a sixth-place finish in qualifying - the fifth time he has broken into qualifying's top six this term.

Callum Ilott had to fight hard in Hungary
Callum Ilott had to fight hard in Hungary

Battling an oil leak, the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz racer managed to come 10th in the feature race and then, managing tyre wear, maintained his position to also end 10th in the sprint race.

"Qualifying was my first time in the wet in this car and the conditions were tricky to negotiate," said Ilott. "My confidence grew every lap and, overall, I was pleased with P6.

"My start in the feature race wasn't great and the two guys behind got off really well. I gained back one position, but on the first stint I struggled.

Callum Ilott mustered two top-10 finishes at the Hungaroring. Photo: Joe Portlock / FIA F2 Championship
Callum Ilott mustered two top-10 finishes at the Hungaroring. Photo: Joe Portlock / FIA F2 Championship

"My pit stop was good, so thanks to the guys for that, but I had to raise the pace a lot after that.

"I also lost a lot of time under the virtual safety car to the guys in front. Overall, it was a fairly average race.

"In the sprint race, my start was pretty okay and in the first laps I was trying to keep pace with the Virtuosi cars that were around me and I had a lot of pressure from [Guanyu] Zhou. "That meant I took a bit out of my tyres, and I was always wary of both him and the tyre degradation.

"It would have been nice to have a bigger gap over him but I got one overtake done, which was a good opportunistic one. Overall though it was a processional race."

The first race was won by DAMS driver Nicholas Latifi, who is second in the standings, while PREMA Racing's Mick Schumacher, the son of F1 legend Michael, claimed his maiden F2 victory in the second race.

Next up for Ilott in the championship is a trip to the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on the weekend of August 30-September 1.

Meanwhile, Ashley Sutton was forced to settle for just two points finishes as he was left wondering what might have been following an eventful Kwik Fit British Touring Cars weekend.

In a twist for rounds 16, 17 and 18, the Bishop's Stortford-based Adrian Flux Subaru Racing driver and his rivals had all three Dunlop tyre compounds available to them over the course of race day at Snetterton, with choices not having to be made until they left the pit-lane and made their way to the grid.

Putting a strategy in place that would see the long game being played by the manufacturer-backed squad, the Subaru Levorg racer opted to run the hard tyre compound for race one and the medium for race two, finishing 12th and seventh respectively.

Due to the reverse-grid draw, Sutton lined up in second place and with the faster soft tyre for the final race of the day whilst those around him were on the harder compound.

An epic battle for victory ensued as Sutton fought tooth and nail with former team-mate Jason Plato.

Utilising the Levorg's corner speed, the rear-wheel-driver racer made a daring move for the lead on lap seven, running side by side on the outside of turns one and two to give him the inside line for turn three.

Sutton's lead did not last long as contact from Plato heading into Agostini just one corner later dropped him back a spot and with him to do it all again. Continuing to hound Plato, the crucial moment in the race came on lap nine as both Sutton and Rory Butcher flanked Plato as they approached Brundle corner.

Fiercely fighting for the lead, three into one did not go with Sutton and Plato coming to blows once more, leaving the GO Homes-sponsored racer spinning across the track and dropping down the order to 20th.



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