British Touring Car Championship title contender Ash Sutton said 'he played it safe' during the final qualifying session of 2020 and believes he's 'in a very good position' for Sunday's season finale at Brands Hatch.

The Laser Tools Racing driver goes into Sunday's final three races just nine-points back from championship leader Colin Turkington, but poured fire on the title race by crucially out-qualifying the Team BMW driver by five-places.

A 54.984s was good enough to see Sutton end what proved to be a frenetic 30-minute qualifying session in third, but the Infiniti Q50 driver said 'playing it safe' and a late red flag prevented him from clinching pole position.

"We played the safe game through the whole of the session," Sutton told Crash.net. "We were sat P1 for most of the session. Obviously Colin [Turkington] was outside of the top ten for the majority of it.

"There was no real risk that needed to be taken at that point. Last thing I wanted to do was go off and create a red flag and lose my best lap.

"Tom [Ingram] and Rory [Butcher] managed to put their laps in at the end. Unfortunately the red flag stopped us from responding. Pleased with it and the car is really good.

"We’ve got a couple of tenths left on the table. Wish I put the lap together earlier on because we would’ve been comfortably on pole."

Throughout most of the running, Sutton produced a string of consistent laps close to his best time, indicating strong race pace should the conditions remain the same.

"I wasn’t on the edge all of the time and that is my pace. That’s the race pace we’ll be looking for. That means there is that little bit left if you brake that little bit later and get on the throttle a bit more aggressively," Sutton continued.

"If we can get off the line and stay out of trouble in the first laps and see how it unfolds from there. We’re in a very good position for tomorrow. I’m feeling confident with the car. It wasn’t a one lap wonder."

 

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