Two wins for Ash Sutton and 3 top ten finishes for Aiden Moffat at Knockhill circuit.
In Saturday’s qualifying session, the drivers have to run with championship ballast, so Ash had to qualify with 54 kilos of extra weight which is a bit of a disadvantage. Only Colin Turkington with 60 kilos carried more. It is often said by the drivers that to get pole at Knockhill you have to produce your best lap of the season.
The session on the very short track (1.27 miles) was going to be frantic as everyone looked to improve their times and with 22 cars all covered by a second it was going to be very hard to find some clear track space. With the team throwing everything at it, Ash was able to take pole position (50.535 sec) and Aiden pulled out a brilliant last lap to take 8th with a time of 50.921.
This is the best qualifying session for the team this season and is particularly impressive given that Ash was carrying that extra weight and Aiden is still in his first year in a rear wheel drive car.
One of the quirks of Knockhill is that apart from the front row, everyone else starts on a steep uphill slope which means that if the leaders get it right off the line they have an immediate advantage.
The lights went out and Ash got a great start closely followed by Colin Turkington. After a lap, Ash had opened a gap and Aiden had done well to fend off Matt Neal to keep his 8th place. The racing was hard for the first 4 laps before a safety car on lap 5 when Josh Cook had a massive off backwards into the tyre wall at Clark’s. Sadly the safety car removed all of Ash’s lead and he was now being pressured hard by Colin Turkington. Aiden meanwhile was all over Mike Bushell’s Astra for 7th whilst still defending from Matt Neal behind.
So at the flag, Ash not only led from start to finish, but had fastest lap as well! Aiden gets a fantastic 9th to give the team a great haul of points from Race 1.
As the lights went out Ash had the inside line for Duffus Dip and had to use all of his skill to keep Colin Turkington behind him to stay in the lead. Immediately after that there was another safety car as Josh Cook was pushed into the gravel on turn 3. After the safety car Ash got a good restart as did Aiden with him picking up a couple of places to 7th.
On lap 6 of 26 Ash was having to defend his heavier Infiniti from the lighter BMW and Tom Ingram in the Toyota and Dan Cammish in the Honda were challenging them both for the lead. Aiden meanwhile was doing a terrific job in 7th ahead of Tom Chilton’s Honda. Once again Ash wins and Aiden takes 5th.
Ash said “That is the best touring car I have ever driven and I was able to manage Colin from there. The team have done a mega job with the car this weekend and it just suits my driving style”.
Aiden was much happier too: “The team have done a great job and I have been able to regroup since Oulton and show just how good the car and I are. Adjusting to rear wheel drive has been a steep learning curve but one that I am enjoying”.
For Race 3, the reverse grid left Aiden starting 7th and Ash as 12th.
Before the race Aiden was interviewed on ITV and said: “For me to contribute with a top 10 and a top 5 is really important and there are a lot of little things for me still to learn on the car and there is no better person to learn from than Ash who is a good friend of mine”. Well said Aiden!
In the opening laps both cars went well although Dan Cammish managed to pass Aiden and so Aiden was 8th and Ash 11th. Then Ingram bit off more that he could chew and ended up forcing Ash wide and dropping Ash to 13th.
On lap 7 Ash took Matt Neal for 12th and Aiden was all over the back of Chris Smiley. At the halfway stage it was Aiden in 8th and Ash in 11th, although with Turkington in 9th. At the end of lap 15, Colin Turkington was able to get up the inside of Aiden for 8th, but with 2 laps to go Aiden re-took the place ahead of Turkington and to the line nothing else changed and the team took 8th and 11th.
What a weekend this has been for the team with two victories for Ash, and three top-ten finishes for Aiden. Points scored in every race by both cars. A truly remarkable effort by the boys and the team as we have a bit of a break and look forward to Thruxton in 3 weeks.
Where the team stands as we move into September:
Ash is 2nd by only 10 points from Colin Turkington.
Aiden is 16th, 18 points ahead of Josh Cook.
We are 2nd behind BMW
Independent Drivers Championship:
Ash is top by 37 points and Aiden is 8th.
We are top ahead of Motorbase by 14 points.