British Touring Car Championship leader Ash Sutton felt a front-row result was there for the taking in qualifying after negotiating a 'horrible' session to qualify in eighth at Silverstone.

The Laser Tools Racing driver arrived into qualifying as one of the favourites to claim pole position but spent the entire session playing catch-up after being called onto the weighing scales for technical checks during the warm-up phase of his running.

Sutton explained that cold tyres and subsequently low tyre pressures during the warm-up phase meant his Infiniti Q50 initially failed the ride-height check, which put him on the back foot for the remainder of the session.

"I’m not pleased with P8," Sutton told Crash.net. "We were just unfortunate that we got called in at the start of the session onto the weighing scales to get ride-height check etc.

"But we were still in the warm up phase so we failed the ride-height and we got told that we obviously needed to amend that.

"We failed the ride-height purely because the tyres were cold. The hotter the tyre gets, the higher the car becomes. I say we failed it, it was a bit touch and go.

"So we got told we had to make the chance and unfortunately it just ruined the balance we had for the first part of qualifying."

Sutton recovered to post a time good enough for eighth, but felt the combination of light rain and chasing the car's balance from the opening run meant there was 0.4s left on the table.

"The second set, it started raining so we got caught in a real tricky one. I felt like we should’ve been on the front row. There was another 0.4s in the car comfortably," the 2017 champion continued.

"It was just one of those things. It takes a good 5/6 laps to get true temperature in the tyre here. We were playing catch up from that point when it was raining.

"Before we went back out for the second set, we were in a very bad position. We clawed something back. We had the pace for a front-row here.

"I don’t think we would’ve beaten Cammish. He’s been a bit unstoppable in that respect. We definitely could’ve been second. One of those horrible situations."

Looking ahead to Sunday's three races, Sutton has no reservations over the pace of his Infiniti, but is mindful over the potential difficulty of making his way through the pack from eighth.

Crucially, Sutton will begin race-day four places behind his nearest title challenger Colin Turkington, who qualified in fourth.

"Obviously we’ll go back to what we know. The car will be absolutely mega as you’ve seen in FP1 and FP2. We can do that every lap. I’m not worried about that," said Sutton.

"This place is a bit like Thruxton. It’s quite hard to overtake. All of the high speed corners you get aero wash and stuff like that. That’s what we’ll be up against."

 

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