Subaru's Ashley Sutton made the most of a 'phenomenal start' to consolidate his second British Touring Car Championship win of 2017, despite running the hard tyre at Croft.

Sutton controlled the opening encounter from start to finish ahead of Team BMW's Colin Turkington and moves up to fifth in the title race, at the expense of the puncture hit Matt Neal.

The Adrian Flux Subaru Racing driver was the only contender in the top-14 to run the harder compound in the opening race and admitted he didn't really know what to expect from the tyre.

"I'm over the moon. I've never driven around here in a RWD car. I was on the hard tyre, which isn't meant to be as good. I was sat on pole thinking 'let's keep it in the top-five', but that wasn't the case," said Sutton.

"I had a phenomenal start. I couldn't have bettered that start if I tried. I managed to have a nice clean run into turn one.

"It was just a case of waiting to get the tyres up to temperature, then I could push. The tyres did start to fade away a bit at the end."

Knowing he was potentially at a disadvantage, Sutton explained that had Turkington got the better of him during the start, he would have conceded the position to the BMW.

"If Colin [Turkington] went in over half a car length over me, I'd have settled for second from then on. I was able to take the normal dry line and pull over to the left, you very rarely see that around here," he continued.

"It was a great start. I think he was just caught out by how good of a start it was from me."

With the focus on keeping Turkington at bay thereafter, Sutton explained he was able to utilise gains made with the traction of his Subaru Levorg to quell the attentions of the second placed BMW runner.

"We've been working on trying to get the traction out of the car and I think that showed out of the hairpins and the tight-twisty corners. Colin had the overall grip with the tyre combination but I think we've dialled a bit of traction into the car which really helped us.

"I think once we got the tyres up to temperature we get ourselves into a comfortable position where we could maintain the pace we had. Through the mid stage of the race I was pretty comfortable and not having to defend.

"It was only every now and again at the hairpin. It wasn't required all the time, it was just for safety," Sutton concluded.