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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Career best result for Daniella Sutton at Oulton Park

It was a breakthrough weekend for Daniella Sutton at Oulton Park, as she claimed her best ever result in both qualifying and the race: with her speed on par with the front runners, she displayed her overtaking skills and achieved an excellent sixth place overall.


Daniella Sutton, BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship, Oulton Park 2024
Photo: James Roberts Photography

Achieving an excellent sixth place overall finish at Oulton Park, Daniella Sutton took significant steps forward in the latest round of the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship. After qualifying a season’s best 12th in a strong 22-car field, Sutton drove superbly in race one to finish in sixth position, fifth among those in the MK7 class. Despite a stall at the beginning of race two, Daniella’s lap times were on par with those inside the top-10 with the 20Ten Racing driver taking the checkered flag in 15th position.


Following a switch to leading team 20Ten Racing for the previous round at Snetterton, there was good cause for optimism as Daniella and her fellow BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship drivers arrived at Oulton Park. It was set to be a busy event in Cheshire, with all four on-track sessions taking place on Saturday.


A free practice session in the morning was followed by qualifying, with two closely-contested races set to follow. Therefore, getting up to speed would be important along with consistent progress throughout the day.


A valuable fifteen-minute free practice session was held in damp conditions on Saturday morning, with lap times improving as the drivers gained confidence in the car. In an uninterrupted session, Daniella set the 11th fastest time, with her quickest lap coming in the final minutes. Sutton ended free practice inside the top-10 of the MK7 class and was looking to further improve upon this pace in a fully dry qualifying session.


It was a short turnaround between the end of practice and the start of qualifying, however Sutton was immediately on the pace and began the first competitive session of the weekend on the front foot. Jumping inside the top-10 on her first flying lap, Daniella’s qualifying laps continued to be both fast and consistent. At the end of the session, the 20Ten Racing driver had set the 12th fastest time, just over one and a half seconds away from the pole position time set by Jacob Hodgkiss.


Race one was initially scheduled to take place over fifteen minutes, however timetable delays and barrier repairs led to a revised duration of twelve minutes. Starting from the sixth row of the grid, Sutton initially lost positions as the lights went out, however this proved not to be a setback. As the young racers approached the Island hairpin, a multi-car incident ahead of the 20Ten Racing driver saw six competitors retire from the race. Daniella was successfully able to negotiate this accident while moving up to seventh overall, sixth among the MK7 runners.


As a result of the damage and stranded cars, the safety car was deployed and with an already shortened race duration, green flag running was limited. Nonetheless, an excellent job from the trackside marshals saw the race resuming with time for two flying laps at Oulton Park.


Daniella Sutton, BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship, Oulton Park 2024
Photo: James Roberts Photography

Daniella made a superb restart and opened up a gap of one second over Jack Burgess as the action got back underway. After resisting pressure from her MK7 class rival at the end of lap four, Sutton’s sights were then set on Benjamin Doughty with one lap remaining. Bridging the gap during the first half of the final lap, Sutton made an excellent move on her rival approaching the checkered flag which saw her claim sixth place overall, fifth in the MK7 class.


Aiming to build upon her career best result in race one, Sutton lined up from sixth position for race two courtesy of her race one result. Due to the timetable constraints, the race was once again set to run over twelve minutes, however the impending noise curfew led to just six laps being completed.


A stall at the start led to Daniella falling to 18th at the end of the first lap, however her race pace was immediately strong. This saw her set the eighth fastest lap of any driver on lap two, indicating the step forward in performance she took at Oulton Park.


Sutton was closing in on the drivers ahead and on lap three, she was able to overtake both Jenson Mason and Bobby Holmes to move into 16th position. Fellow MK7 class driver Tommy Harfield found the barriers at the Island hairpin on lap four and this promoted Daniella to 15th, with her sights still set on those ahead of her. Continuing to set top-8 lap times, Sutton ran out of time to make further moves but took the checkered flag in 15th position, just four seconds from a top-10 finish despite the shortened race duration.


It was a breakthrough weekend for Sutton at Oulton Park as she achieved her best ever result in both qualifying and the race. Daniella’s speed was on par with those inside the top-10, while displaying her overtaking skills in the pair of shortened races. She will now be looking to replicate this level of performance in the second half of the season, while also pushing for further top-5 results in the MK7 class.


The next round of the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship will take place at Croft on the weekend of 13th/14th July.

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