Victory in both races of course helped Sutton to come from behind to win the title. But there was more to it than that – he led all 15 laps in Saturday’s race and 12 of the 15 in Sunday’s final round. That’s 27 out of a possible 30 meaning he ends the season with a laps-led-in-2015 tally of 103 out of the 274 completed in 2015 – more than any other driver.
Likewise in the miles-led chart… he ends the season having led an unrivalled 198 miles out of the 518 miles covered (the same distance from Plymouth on the Devon coast to Knockhill circuit in Fife)!
But others had plenty to celebrate as well on Brands Hatch’s legendary Grand Prix circuit.
Team Cooksport ended its first season in the UK Clio Cup truly on a high as Jon Maybin took third in Saturday’s penultimate round for his and the squad’s maiden podium result. The same race also saw 16-year-old team-mate Alex Sedgwick finish a fine fifth – his highest place since joining the championship at Silverstone just a fortnight earlier. At the line he was under two tenths of a second behind another of the championship’s exciting newcomers of late, Pyro’s Josh Price, who matched his career-best with fourth.
Furthermore, Maybin's and Sedgwick's combined points gave Cooksport its highest score of the season in the Entrants Trophy as it came desperately close to pipping WDE Motorsport to second in the table – in the end just two points separated the two teams.
On the Sunday, it was the turn of the returning Finesse Motorsport outfit with newcomer Paul Streather plus JamSport drivers Tom Grundy and Luke Kidsley to finish with a flourish.
Streather was nothing short of sublime on his UK Clio Cup. After qualifying fourth fastest for both grids he then ended Sunday’s race on the podium after crossing the line a close second to winner and new Champion Sutton. Indeed, he led the race across the start-finish line no fewer than three times during their dramatic duel. By 0.057s, 0.039s and 0.055s to be precise – the margins really were that fine…
For JamSport, Brands Hatch also showed it will be a force to be reckoned with in 2016 as Grundy and Kidsley produced the kinds of performances that they have been threatening for some rounds now. They qualified third and fifth fastest for Sunday’s race with Grundy running in second place for its opening three laps before finishing an eventual sixth – still his best so far in the UK Clio Cup. Kidsley meanwhile came home in fourth for his and JamSport’s highest finish of the season. He also set the race’s fastest lap – the first time that a JamSport driver has done so in the championship.
Our stats would not be complete without mentioning new 20Ten Racing signing Ben Palmer, like Streather making his UK Clio Cup debut at Brands Hatch. Starting race one from 20th – a legacy of a heavy crash in Friday testing – the former karting ace rose to a solid ninth and he was to do even better on Sunday. Again from a lowly grid position, 18th, he kept clear of several incidents and, lapping within four tenths of a second of title-winner Sutton, was able to finish a splendid fifth. Another potential star is born…