BTCC race win­ner to pi­lot rear-wheel-drive Levorg

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - Pho­tos: Jakob Ebrey By Matt James

Ash Sut­ton will join the Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship Subaru team along­side Ja­son Plato and James Cole for the 2017 sea­son.

Sut­ton, 23, won one race and claimed the Jack Sears Tro­phy for rook­ies dur­ing his maiden cam­paign in the BTCC last term with the fac­tory-backed MG op­er­a­tion.

Two-time cham­pion Plato is re­main­ing with Team BMR for a third sea­son, while Cole re­turns at the con­trols of the rear­wheel-drive Levorg ma­chine.

Sut­ton, who took two pole po­si­tions on his way to 13th in the over­all stand­ings last year, was a prod­uct of the BMR acad­emy. He raced un­der the team’s colours in the Re­nault UK Clio Cup Cham­pi­onship in 2015, which he won, be­fore step­ping up to the BTCC in 2016.

“Not for one sec­ond did I think that two years down the line from sign­ing for Team BMR, I would be a part of the BMR fac­tory team, let alone with such a newly bred BTCC man­u­fac­turer as Subaru,” said Sut­ton.

“I thought I had hit the jack­pot in my de­but sea­son in se­cur­ing a man­u­fac­turer drive with MG, but now be­ing a part of Subaru, and the pack­age that comes with that, has cer­tainly topped it for me.

“Last year I ac­com­plished all of the per­sonal goals I had set for my­self, I know 2017 is go­ing to be hard, but I feel I have all the cor­rect tools to move those goal posts and set my­self some big­ger chal­lenges.”

Plato wel­comed Sut­ton to the team. He added: “We have a fan­tas­tic new ad­di­tion to the driver squad in young Ash Sut­ton, I’m cer­tainly ex­pect­ing him to be right in the thick of the ac­tion.”

Cole says he has ben­e­fited from a late­sea­son test with BMR, when he worked along­side Plato’s en­gi­neer Carl Faux for the first time. The Liver­pudlian said:” I can’t wait to get back in the car and build on what I learnt in test­ing. I need to de­liver for the team and my­self.”

The team is due to be­gin test­ing in two weeks’ time.

Sut­ton (r) will race for Scott’s out­fit in Subaru Levorg

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