Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship winner Ashley Sutton signs multi-year deal with NAPA Racing
Ashley Sutton will be representing a new team when he aims to equal the all-time record of four Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship titles in 2022.
The Bishop's Stortford driver, who this year successfully defended his crown to win the event for a third time, has agreed a deal to switch from Laser Tools Racing to NAPA Racing.
Sutton's new team, which is run by Motorbase Performance, will be making their BTCC bow. Founded almost a century ago, NAPA is one of the most prominent and successful automotive parts brands in North America.
And the former Birchwood High School student, who will be partnered by Dan Cammish, will be returning to front-wheel drive for the first time since 2016 in a hybrid-powered Ford Focus ST.
"I'm buzzing to have signed a multi-year deal with NAPA Racing UK and Motorbase Performance," said Sutton, 27.
"This feels like the start of something very exciting and I am ready for the challenge that lies ahead. They are all a great group of people and just pure racers at heart.
"Motorbase haven't just made me feel welcome, they have also welcomed on board the car crew I have worked with over the past three years.
"They are all now a part of the Motorbase family which means we have all the key elements to go out and retain that title together.
"I'm incredibly proud to be representing NAPA Racing UK. To go out and secure not just my fourth title but also the teams' and constructors' championship with this new-formed partnership would be fantastic.
"This brings me one step closer to my goal of becoming the most successful driver ever in the BTCC."
Sutton, who became the youngest triple BTCC champion this year, has established himself as one of the leading lights of the competition with 24 wins, 50 podiums and seven pole positions sitting alongside his three titles in 2017, 2020 and 2021.
"Ash is the kind of driver who is on everyone's radar," said Pete Osborne, Motorbase Performance team owner.
"I genuinely couldn't ask for a better driver line-up for 2022 and I think we've got everyone's attention. This is an indication of our intent to challenge for the title next season and beyond."
Sutton, who was named the Tees Law-sponsored sports personality of the year at last month's Indies community awards, will begin his bid for a fourth title at Donington Park on the weekend of April 23-24.
Last season he finished with a 51-point margin of victory over runner-up Colin Turkington with third-placed Josh Cook a further three points back.
"Having got to know Pete Osborne more over the last year, I saw the hunger he has to win and his ambition to drive Motorbase in that direction," said Sutton. "This is something I love, a new challenge, set out with the same goals I personally have.
"The deal was made a little sweeter by securing NAPA Racing UK as a sponsor. For such an iconic brand in motorsport to be hitting the BTCC grid in 2022 and becoming a part of that was a big draw to me."