Reigning champion Ash Sutton took his fifth victory of the British Touring Car Championship season on a soaking track in race one at Knockhill.
The Team BMR Subaru Levorg driver powered up from eighth on the grid to hit the front on lap 12 of what became a 27-lap event.
He survived a late-race scare with a safety car which closed the field up to once again put the hammer down and he finished 1.2 seconds ahead of BMW rival Colin Turkington.
“That was a great race,” said Sutton. “We need results like that.
“The conditions were hard, particularly on the new Tarmac which they have laid here and we were all on a journey to find out where the grip was.
“he car was just superb though and I could almost put it where I wanted to.”
Turkington, who claimed third place on lap one, was embroiled in a fierce battle with front-row starter Stephen Jelley’s Team Parker Racing BMW 125i M Sport and they swapped places on a couple of occasions.
The pair then collided on lap 19 under braking for Clark’s. Turkington slid into the back of Jelley and the Parker BMW was fired into the gravel and into retirement. The incident is currently under investigation.
“To go from P4 on the grid to P2 is great progress, and I didn’t expect a podium with 75kg of success ballast on board,” said the Northern Irishman, who maintained his points lead. “We have really made the most out of the car.
“I feel sorry for Stephen, and we had been having a great scrap.
“He made a small slip coming out of the chicane and we both went to the inside of the track going into Clark’s.
“He hit the brakes and I had nowhere to go and we touched. I will go and apologise to him straight away – there was certainly no malice in it.”
Dan Cammish had started from his maiden BTCC career pole position in the Team Dynamics-run Honda Civic Type R but was powerless to resist the progress of the rear-wheel-drive cars.
Once Sutton was through, Cammish dropped back into the clutches of the battle between Jelley and Turkington who pushed him back to fourth spot.
He profited from the Turkington-Jelley incident to secure his podium finish. Referring to the rear-wheel-drive cars all around him, Cammish said: “I think I brought a knife to a gun fight today.
“I was pleased to lead into the first corner, but I knew they would be coming for me.
“When I saw it was Ash behind me, I knew my days were numbered. Nevertheless it is a mega result.”
Andrew Jordan, who had started in third place, brought his WSR BMW home in fourth spot, but was under pressure in the latter stages.
Josh Cook made a late pass on Tom Ingram into the hairpin with three laps to go to net fifth place.
Sutton has closed in on the series lead with his victory. He is third in the standings, 27 points behind table leader Turkington. Ingram is second in the table, 11 points off the summit.
Race one result
|1||Ash Sutton||Team BMR||Subaru||27||27m34.050s|
|3||Dan Cammish||Team Dynamics||Honda||27||2.779s|
|5||Josh Cook||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall||27||3.433s|
|7||Tom Oliphant||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes||27||6.606s|
|8||Chris Smiley||BTC Norlin||Honda||27||7.015s|
|9||Adam Morgan||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes||27||7.778s|
|10||Rory Butcher||AmD Tuning||MG||27||8.108s|
|13||Brett Smith||Eurotech Racing||Honda||27||10.166s|
|14||Rob Austin||HMS Racing||Alfa Romeo||27||10.452s|
|15||Jack Goff||Eurotech Racing||Honda||27||11.192s|
|16||Ollie Jackson||AmD Tuning||Audi||27||11.847s|
|18||Aiden Moffat||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes||27||15.787s|
|19||Senna Proctor||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall||27||16.130s|
|20||Glynn Geddie||AmD Tuning||MG||27||16.371s|
|21||Matt Simpson||Simpson Racing||Honda||27||16.634s|
|22||Sam Smelt||AmD Tuning||Audi||27||17.346s|
|23||Mike Bushell||Team Hard||Volkswagen||27||18.388s|
|25||Daniel Lloyd||BTC Norlin||Honda||27||19.287s|
|26||Jason Plato||Team BMR||Subaru||27||19.660s|
|27||Ollie Pidgley||Team Hard||Volkswagen||27||21.098s|
|28||Carl Boardley||Team Hard||Volkswagen||27||21.452s|
|–||Stephen Jelley||Team Parker Racing||BMW||18||Retirement|
|–||Matt Neal||Team Dynamics||Honda||11||Retirement|
|–||Bobby Thompson||Team Hard||Volkswagen||0||Retirement|
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