Sutton completed 15 laps of the circuit, just outside Rome, in anger and admitted the R.S 0.1’s shattering performance almost caught him out. Furthermore the test fell on his 22nd birthday.
“I knew it was going to be fast but not that fast!” he declared. “The grip levels in the wet in the morning were incredible but then it dried and we were able to put slick tyres on and the whole performance – grip, cornering, braking, acceleration, everything – was out of this world. It’s the best birthday present I’ve ever had!
“The braking forces really surprised me and the straps on my HANS device were fully loaded keeping my neck up! The cornering was also phenomenal and it is by far the fastest car I have ever driven – I think I’d need to try an LMP1 car to better it. I had a huge grin on my face on my way back to the airport and it’s still there. I’m on cloud nine…”
Sutton’s R.S 0.1 run followed a test in a British Touring Car (also part of his UK Clio Cup Champion’s prize), courtesy of race tyre supplier Dunlop.
He added: “I have to say a massive thanks to Renault UK and Renaultsport. These two tests have just been a brilliant experience as part of preparing me for the next step in my career and opening my eyes to two very different types of car. More than that, Renault have really made me feel a Champion every step of the way – even right down to an extremely nice hotel room in Rome!
“I hope to announce my 2016 plans in the coming weeks but wherever I go I would like to tell any young driver to really look seriously at racing with Renault to further their career. They are a fantastic motor sporting manufacturer to be associated with…”
Renaultsport’s UK Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes said: “We’re delighted to hear that Ashley had such a positive time in the R.S 0.1. It is an extraordinary car in terms of engineering, technical advancement and performance and certainly fit for a Champion.
"And Ashley is a very deserving Champion following his dramatic title success in the final round of 2015’s UK Clio Cup. Like so many of our past champions and other top names he looks set for future stardom whether that be in touring cars, sportcars or GT competition and we wish him the very best. He will always be part of the very special Renaultsport ‘family’ of racers.”