BTCC champion tests WAU Commodore

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 21/03/2018
  • By Mitchell Adam

The 2017 British Touring Car Champion, Ash Sutton has completed a Supercars evaluation day with Walkinshaw Andretti United.

Sutton drove Scott Pye’s Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Commodore at Winton last Wednesday, ahead of this weekend’s Coates Hire Supercars Melbourne 400.

The 24-year-old won six races for Team BMR on his way to the 2017 title, in his second BTCC season, aboard a Subaru Levorg designed by Carl Faux.

At the end of the campaign in early October, Faux relocated to Australia to lead the technical department of what became Walkinshaw Andretti United on January 1.

"It was a chance for me to try the car and see what Supercars is all about," Sutton told Autosport.com.

"The car was a total monster - a real eye-opener. Even when I was leaving the pits, it felt bloody fast, half throttle and all I seemed to do is keep on pulling another gear.

"Supercars have locked rear differential, and that means they are very different from what I have driven before.

"It requires a slightly different approach in my footwork techniques as the shift in balance is more towards understeer, but dialling myself into this didn't take too long and once I had found the sweet spot I love the way the car rotated.

"The Winton track was a great place to drive the car too - it had a bit of everything with slow and technical bits to really fast and flowing corners too, so I got to see all the abilities of the car.”

Sutton’s day-long program included sampling both of Supercars’ tyre compounds, the two championships sharing a common supplier in Dunlop.

The 2018 BTCC season starts at Brands Hatch on April 6-8, the same weekend as the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint.

"It was a really interesting experience with lots of new things thrown at me," said Sutton.

"You really had to alter your approach with the two different types of rubber as there was a lap time delta of two seconds between the two compounds, but it was good to experience another of Dunlop's products, because I am used to them in the BTCC.

"All in all, I learned a great deal from the experience and I am really grateful to the Walkinshaw Andretti United team for letting me loose in one of its wonderful cars.

"The entire crew was very welcoming and the whole set-up takes professionalism to another level.

"I really enjoyed being around the team and I am planning to go over and watch one of the rounds.

"It is a championship I will certainly be keeping a very close eye on in the future."

Walkinshaw Andretti United leads the Supercars Teams’ Championship after one event, with James Courtney third and Pye 10th on the individual leaderboard entering Albert Park.

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