Donington Park: Sutton 'over the moon' with maiden BTCC pole

Triple Eight MG's Ashley Sutton says making the early call to switch to the slick tyre amid the ever drying conditions made all the difference in clinching his first BTCC pole.
MG Triple Eight Racing's Ashley Sutton says making the early call to switch to the slick tyre during a dramatic British Touring Car Championship qualifying was crucial in helping the rookie snatch his first ever pole position at Donington Park.

The session was thrown into chaos when the ever improving track-conditions, which started wet, triggered a constantly tumbling pole-position benchmark.

Triple Eight read the conditions to near perfect as both MG's of Sutton and Josh Cook emerged from the 30 minute thriller with a front-row lockout, despite both drivers amazingly tackling the wet conditions during a touring car weekend for the first time.

Sutton said moving to dry rubber enable the MG driver to generate enough heat in the tyres when it mattered the most.

"I'm over the moon. I couldn't have asked that to go any better. What we achieved at Brands Hatch was fantastic but to come here and better that by five-places, and sit alongside my team mate on the front row, I'm over the moon," Sutton told

"We made the call to go on slicks quite quickly. So we probably had the most temperature in the tyres but it was all about getting a clean lap, which was a struggle. Everyone had the same idea as we all pushed for that last lap. It was just a case of piecing it together and seeing what we could do.

"That was also the first time in the wet for me as well so that's a big positive for me. The car felt great in the wet conditions and it felt even better in the dry conditions."

Now having a lead to defend for the first time in his very young BTCC career, Sutton admits he'll just be taking it 'one lap at-a-time' from pole position.

"I'm just going to be taking it one lap at a time. My focus has to be getting it off the line while keeping an eye out for the RWD cars. Josh and I just have to work together as a team. From locking the front row out we want to convert that into a one-two tomorrow," Sutton continued.

"There's a few more overtaking opportunities here than there was at Brands Hatch so I'll definitely be keeping my eye in the mirror. It's nice I've got my team mate behind me. In a way that gives me a certain amount of breathing space."

Related Pictures

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Ashley Sutton (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6
Matt Simpson, Team Dynamics, [Credit: BTCC Media]
Rob Austin, Handy Motorsport [Credit: Handy Motorsport]
Andrew Jordan, WSR Pirtek BMW [Credit:Jakob Ebrey]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing [Credit: Halfords Yuasa]
Ant Whorton-Eales,, BTCC [Credit:]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Senna Proctor, Power Maxed Racing, BTCC [Credit: BTCC media]
WSR BMW  - Gardx / JCT 600 teams champions
WSR BMW  - Gardx / JCT 600 teams champions

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