British Touring Car Championship rookie Ashley Sutton says his fightback through the order from 27th to fifth went some way in showcasing the potential of the Triple Eight Racing MG package at Thruxton.

Ahead of race one, Sutton continued to march on in prolonging an impressive start to his BTCC career after posting a third consecutive top-five qualifying effort.

However, all of Sutton's hard work quickly unravelled when the MG6 GT racer - caught out by a close-quarter battle in race one - ended his charge in the tyre barrier.

Sutton was able to stage a valiant recovery up the order and ended the day with a top-five finish. But another ill-timed disturbance in race two cost the 22-year old a chance in making the race three reverse grid draw.

"The way we came through the pack in races two and three displayed how strong the car was," Sutton told "Everyone said this would be a bogey track for us, and we thought it would be, but we proved them wrong and we proved ourselves wrong.

"Race one was a bit of a downer, which put us on the back foot for the rest of the day. We both had to start race two from the back of the grid but the car was underneath the pair of us. I did manage to get up into 12th but the incident at the complex dropped me back into 15th.

"It was good the car showed potential but it was a shame we couldn't crack the top-ten for that reverse grid because it could have well for us. To start 15th and come home in fifth was spot on.

"For the team to come back after all the hard work the mechanics put in after the race one incidents, I can't thank them enough."

Needing as many laps as possible to repair the damage caused from race one, Sutton felt the decision to reduce the race distance from 16 to 12 laps, during races two and three, didn't favour MG's cause.

A series of tyre failures during the first race - amid heightened track conditions, nearing the 40 degrees marker - prompted TOCA in shortening the remaining races.

From an MG point of view, Sutton said the Triple Eight package had no qualms with the Dunlop rubber, having 'obeyed' the instructions advised earlier on race morning.

"In the morning our Dunlop technicians all tell us to stay off the kerbs during the first three laps. We obeyed those rules, didn't have one failure and tyres looked mint. The people who didn't obey them, it shows," Sutton explained.

"It's a shame that the racing was cut short because of people not playing by the rules. For me, it's not quite how I wanted it because a few extra laps would have done us some good coming through the field.

"With the tyre itself, I haven't got any issues with it. The drop-off is like a normal tyre, you just have to be aware of the kerbs.

"It didn't favour us and it probably didn't favour the BMWs but it favoured some others who weren't obeying the rules."



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