Race 2 of the day at Knockhill was a much closer affair, with the top three drivers from race one still very much in the mix. However, with Tom Ingram lurking in the wings with an additional 10 laps to deploy his hybrid power, could he get himself to the front and mix it up with the three podium scorers from race one.
Hill maintained his lead into the first corner whilst Ingram immediately set his sights on George Gamble, passing him into Duffus Dip on the opening lap. However, a safety car removed the slender advantage that Hill had opened out on the opening sectors following an incident at the chicane. As the debris was cleared, Hill would have seen the NAPA Racing UK car of Sutton weaving ominously in his rear-view mirror, with Sutton keen to stick with the BMW on the restart. Hill delayed the restart until the very entry point to the hairpin before using the BMWs rear-wheel drive to power up the Hill to stay at the head of the pack.
On lap 5 however, a slight mistake from Hill – dropping two wheels into the gravel on the exit of the Chicane, allowed Sutton to pass and into the lead. Hill then set about closing the gap to Sutton, only to have another mistake through the Chicane, allowing Turkington this time an easy pass into P2, which Turkington almost immediately conceded by running wide at Duffus Dip and giving the position back to the ROKiT MB Motorsport man.
As the laps ticked down, there were improvements for both Ingram, Shedden and Butcher. Entering the final few laps of the race, you could see that Ash Sutton was holding on for all his worth – with the Ford Focus entering Duffus Dip sideways due to lack of grip lap after-lap in the final stages. Press as he may, Hill couldn’t find a way past Sutton, with the pair even colliding racing up towards the finishing line as Sutton squeezed the BMW man onto the pit entrance lane in the final few metres before veering off to the right to allow Hill room to manoeuvre onto the actual track to cross the line.
In the end, it was Sutton who would take the win, just 0.141s ahead of Hill and Turkington not that far behind on P3 – his second podium of the day. Ingram was P4, Shedded P5 and Butcher P6.
Scots legend John Cleland made the reverse grid draw live on ITV, pulling out the no.7 ball, putting George Gamble on pole for the final race of the weekend with Scots duo Rory Butcher (P2) and Gordon Shedden (P3) for the final encounter of the weekend.
“I’m annoyed with that one and need to move onto the next now. Something changed in that race with the car, I just couldn’t hold on through the chicane the way I have been so far this weekend. We’ll need to look at the data and get to the bottom of if before race three,” said Hill.
Sutton on the other hand, was delighted to take his first win of the season for the NAPA Racing UK team and commented:
“It was made a little bit easier by Jake’s mistake through the chicane, we managed the race will I think, it opened out and then closed-up towards the end. By the last the last few laps the tyres had had enough, so I’m very pleased to get that first win of the season.”
The final race of the day, gets underway at 17:10pm and we’re sure there is plenty more action to come around the twists and dips of Knockhill in 2022.