Triple Eight Racing BTCC
Ash Sutton clinches Jack Sears Trophy at Brands Hatch
MG Racing RCIB Insurance brought the curtain down on the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on Sunday with a podium winning performance by Josh Cook and with Ash Sutton claiming the title of Jack Sears Trophy Champion of 2016.

Ash arrived at Brands Hatch with a 35 point lead over fellow rookie Mike Epps and with Brands being his local and strongest circuit on the BTCC calendar he was feeling confident
In total Ash has won no less than 18 class victories in 2016 in addition to taking his first outright BTCC race win at Croft in June along with, 2 podiums, 2 poles and 2 fastest laps.

The Jack Sears Trophy is awarded to the highest scoring rookie of 2016 and Ash was thoroughly deserving of the award after making a real mark on the championship with an outstanding season in his maiden year of the BTCC after graduating from the Renault UK Clio Cup.  This year the award is especially poignant after the passing of ‘Gentleman Jack’ back in September.  Jack was a double BTCC Champion and cherished member of the British Touring Car Championship family.  The award was presented to Ash on behalf of Jack by his son David.
Speaking of his maiden year Ash commented “What a debut year in the British Touring Car Championship. Things couldn’t have gone better for me, yes some bad luck struck us mid-season and knocked us down the standings for the overall title but I have achieved everything I came here to do. People kept asking me at the start, are all these big names intimidating and my honest answer was always no they are just stickers on windows.

"I was not going to treat the BTCC any differently to any other championship I had been in, so I set myself some goals just before Media Day, those being to secure my first pole positon, get my first podium, followed by my first outright win and then the last and final one, the Jack Sears Trophy. Those goals at the time may have been a little strong but I am pleased that we have achieved every single one of them. Collecting silverware does show what you have achieved, but winning the Jack Sears Trophy on the year that Gentleman Jack passed and for his son David to present it to me made it an emotional experience as well as an unforgettable one. I also managed to wrap the championship up on MG's & Triple Eight’s 150th race together.
"Behind every driver there is a team of people, I can't thank Triple Eight enough for making me feel at home in my debut year, also to MG and RCIB Insurance for believing in me and giving me this chance to live and fulfil my dream. I have had some fantastic support since my return to racing in 2014 and I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for my personal sponsors, Global Force Group, Select Fire Services and CNM Advisory that have also believed in me and gave me this opportunity. It has been a pleasure this year and despite the bad luck I have still loved every minute of it. Roll on 2017!"

To add to teams glorious weekend former Jack Sears Trophy winner from 2015 Josh Cook was victorious in taking his third podium of the year when he brought his MG6 home in third place in the first of Sunday’s three races.  A delighted Josh commented "It was a great end to the season with three solid point scores for the RCIB MG including a podium in race one This year has been one of the most enjoyable seasons for me, even though we struggled with car issues after Thruxton.  
The pace that we have had in the last three race meetings has shown what we should have been capable of this season. I'm very grateful to the whole of the Triple Eight team for their hard work and determination. Also congratulations to my team mate Ash for wrapping up the Jack Sears Trophy, it's been an honour,"

Overall MG Racing RCIB Insurance came fifth in the Teams standings, with Josh finishing twelfth in the Drivers championship with Ash just behind him in thirteenth.
The team wish to thank MG Motor and RCIB Insurance along with all of our sponsors, and everyone in the team for working exceptionally hard this year and our fans for all of their support during 2016.

Matthew Cheyne, Head of Sales and Marketing, MG Motor commented “We’re thrilled with the results this year from Ash, Josh and everyone involved in the RCIB Insurance team, as a bedding in season for both the MG6’s and the drivers they have delivered above and beyond expectations.

“On behalf of MG Motor, I’d like to congratulation Ash on taking home the Jack Sears Trophy and look forward to watching their continued success in 2017.”

Triple Eight Racing Team Principle, Ian Harrison commented “It has been a season of highs and lows on the race track. Our two young guns worked really hard to improve and develop as the season progressed. It isn’t always easy to keep your chin up after a poor weekend of results, but they have managed to keep the focus with only the minor use of the boot on my part!

“Next year will see them build on this experience and be more consistently at the front. As for their off track activities with MG and our sponsors, they are also taking bookings for Saturday Night at the Apollo. The atmosphere they have created with all the team sponsors shows what you can do when you have a bit of personality or are not just thinking about yourself. Hats off to Josh and Ash for their hard work on both fronts this season.

“Standby for exciting announcements soon!”

Written by Maddy Turner
Photos by