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Sutton wins epic duel with Cook to end 2018 BTCC at Brands Hatch

Sunday, September 30 2018

Outgoing BTCC champion Ashley Sutton saw off the 2018 season by winning an epic finale, win which he pipped Josh Cook to the win by just 0.032s.

Starting from pole position, Cook intially lost the lead to the fast starting Alfa Romeo of Rob Austin. Cook re-took the lead at Paddock Hill Bend at the start of lap five after hustling his opponent hard during the opening laps.

As Cook led, Sutton followed him through to second position and quickly began to apply pressure on the leader in his Subaru Levorg GT. The remainder of the race was a classic duel between the two former team-mates as they traded paint and track position repeatedly.

Their monumental scrap threatened to bring Austin back into the mix a number of times, but he had other things to worry about - most notably the threat of Tom Chilton's Ford Focus RS looming behind him. 

Heading onto the final lap, it appeared that Cook had done enough to see off Sutton, whilst Chilton attempted to muscle past the Alfa Romeo as they headed out onto the Grand Prix section of the circuit. 

Chilton had to settle for fourth, but at the front Sutton made one final lunge for the win as the leaders exited the woods at Clearways with an audacious gamit around the outside at Clark Curve. 

The manoeuvre paid off, with Sutton out-dragging Sutton to the line to claim his sixth win of the season, and his last with the #1 on his windscreen - for this season at least...

Race result:

1, Ashley Sutton, Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, Subaru Levorg GT, 15 laps
2, Josh Cook, Power Maxed TAG Racing, Vauxhall Astra, +0.032s
3, Rob Austin, DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, +0.738s
4, Tom Chilton, Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher, Ford Focus RS, +1.100s
5, Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +1.662s
6, Sam Tordoff, Team GardX Racing with Motorbase, Ford Focus RS, +1.839s
7, Senna Proctor, Power Maxed TAG Racing, Vauxhall Astra, +2.286s
8, Chris Smiley, BTC Norlin Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +2.550s
9, Andrew Jordan, BMW Pirtek Racing, BMW 125i M Sport, +3.065s
10, Dan Lloyd, BTC Norlin Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +3.689s