Ashley Sutton talks up hybrid as he tops British Touring Car Championship test

British Touring Car Championship

“Qualifying will be interesting at round one because we’re all allowed the full allocation boost. Race one, the same again. But from that point onward, seeing how it’s implemented in terms of the reduction that each driver will get for winning a race [or scoring points] is again going to be another insight into what’s in store for the future.”

Ashley Sutton was considered a master of finding consistency with whatever success ballast he was running but now faces the reality that he has lost that edge. “Unfortunately!” he said. “It’s now about balancing the lack of hybrid we’ve got. The base weight has gone up [1340kg for FWD cars, 1370kg for RWD]. The cars haven’t become dull, but they are a little bit heavier, close to what they were on full ballast anyway. In some ways, that’s good because going from race to race you haven’t got a big difference in weight and you haven’t got a car that’s 70kg lighter coming at you. We’re all the same weight now, although rear-wheel drive is a little bit heavier. Seeing how we manage that hybrid is going to be interesting.”

He added that adapting to front-wheel drive, following his switch to a Ford Focus, which he hasn’t raced in the BTCC since his first season in 2016, hasn’t been a problem. “Driving the car, in my eyes, is the easy bit. But mechanically understanding how changes affect the car is different. A rear- and front-wheel-drive car react differently to certain changes, so we almost have to build a new knowledge toolbox. I haven’t got to bin off everything I’ve learnt, but perhaps adapt it to suit.”

Author Profile

Joanna Fletcher
Live Events Reviewer


Leave a Reply