Ashley Sutton extended his lead at the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship by three points to seven after a rollercoaster weekend at Croft
Ashley Sutton extended his lead at the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship by three points to seven after a rollercoaster weekend at Croft.
The Bishop's Stortford racer produced a pair of stunning fightback drives to come fourth and fifth, with a 20th-place finish sandwiched in between.
It means the former Birchwood High School pupil inched further ahead of title rival Colin Turkington going into the penultimate round at Snetterton on October 24-25.
In a dramatic qualifying session in the wet, Sutton skated off the track at Clearvaux with less than 10 minutes remaining, bringing out the red flag and subsequently losing his fastest time.
He was then sent spinning after contact in race one before charging back through the order for fourth spot.
The 26-year-old was going nicely in the second race when there was contact between him and Jake Hill, leaving him with a front-right puncture and he ended up a lap down in 20th.
Free of success ballast for the last race, the Laser Tools Racing driver dug deep to produce a stellar display, scything through the order to come fifth.
"What a rollercoaster weekend! As much as it is good for everyone watching at home, and as much as I love the recovery drives, I'm making life very hard for myself," said Sutton.
"I was optimistic we would be strong heading to Croft and that was evident given the pace we had. Race one was unfortunate but I managed to fight my way back and then race two was just one of those things. It's a move that has paid off so many times but came back to bite us on this occasion.
"In hindsight I should have just settled for a podium but that isn't in my nature and that's why I was able to claw it back in race three, going from 20th to fifth.
"Everyone at Laser Tools Racing and BMR Engineering has done a mega job, they gave me the car to go and do the job, and it's all worked out in our favour in the end to somehow stay in the lead of the standings."