Former BTCC champ impressed with Ingram
Tom Ingram has already laid down the foundations for a successful Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship career, reckons former title-winner Tim Harvey, with the talented young High Wycombe ace showing impressive speed and potential during his maiden campaign in the series.
Competing for independent outfit Speedworks Motorsport in the #80 Toyota Avensis, Ingram stunned observers and his rivals alike by qualifying an outstanding sixth for the season curtain-raiser at Brands Hatch back in March. He bettered that by lining up fifth at Thruxton, and qualified sixth last time out at Snetterton too, before his race day rather unraveled.
Despite bad luck ruining his efforts on a number of race days so far in 2014, former BTCC champion Tim Harvey believes that Ingram has more than made his mark and is confident there is plenty yet to come.
“Tom has made a really strong impression in his first half-season in the BTCC – in what is an extremely tough year in the championship,” he asserts. “You’ve got 31 cars all running to the same specification; that means it’s difficult to get into the top 15 let alone the top ten because the grids are separated by literally fractions of a second, but Tom has slotted in almost immediately and already looks like an old hand at touring cars.
“He has impressed a lot of people, particularly with his qualifying pace – and he has been consistently fast, too. Whilst there is a certain level of experience required to be able to compete at the front on a regular basis in the BTCC because it really is so different to anything else, he has very quickly picked up the racecraft – and I know for a fact that he is on the radar of several teams and team managers for next year.
“He has endured a number of issues that have prevented a greater points total, but hopefully his luck will change over the remainder of the campaign to allow him to maximise his opportunities – because he certainly has the pace to do so. I would like to see Tom on the podium between now and the end of the season; I think that is an achievable target, and one that would be a real feather in his cap going into 2015.”
Tom will be buoyed ahead of the next event at Knockhill as the young gun has enjoyed much success at the Scottish venue. He took a double debut win there in Ginetta Juniors and claimed victory on his way to the Ginetta GT Supercup crown last season. Only time will tell if Ingram’s Sunday fortunes will be turned around next time out, but his past performances at Knockhill suggest it’s as good a place as any to target his best weekend in the series so far.