Subaru's Ashley Sutton breathes life into his 2018 British Touring Car Championship campaign after taking his first win of the season during the opening Croft race.

Sutton hadn't stood on the top step of the podium since Rockingham last season, but the reigning champion took full advantage of Subaru's return to form by leading a BMR Subaru one-two finish from pole position ahead of series legend Jason Plato.

Following a difficult first four meetings, which had been plagued by unreliability and straight-line speed issues, Sutton admitted Subaru's weekend so far has been unexpected.

“This definitely felt a long way away two weeks ago – I certainly didn’t expect to be standing where I am now," said Sutton.

"Like last year, we opted to run the hard tyre in race one. That was always going to make life a little bit harder, but sometimes you have to take a gamble and it paid off again – although the old boy was coming back at me by the end!

"Fortunately, I had a little bit left in the tank so whenever he closed the gap, I could open the tap again."

Despite his commanding victory, Sutton still remains 54-points off championship leader Colin Turkington, but has insisted he isn't about to give up on retaining his drivers' crown.

"I’m a little bit further behind in the championship than I was at this stage last year, but you never give up trying and I always give it my best shot and now there’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.”