Speedworks aims for solid points
Speedworks Motorsport is eager to build upon its stellar start to the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park this weekend with Tom Ingram primed after a strong showing at Brands Hatch.
Currently contesting its seventh campaign BTCC, Speedworks came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders at Brands Hatch Indy, as Tom Ingram replicated his curtain-raising victory from 12 months earlier before adding to that triumph with a hard-fought podium finish in race two.
Ingram heads to Donington sitting second in both the overall Drivers’ and Independents’ Trophy standings, with Speedworks third in the Teams’ table and second in the Independent Teams’ classification.
With that early success, however, must come success ballast, and 23-year-old Ingram will tackle both qualifying and race one at Donington behind the wheel of a Toyota Avensis weighing in 66kg heavier than usual.
Given that the top 28 drivers in the high-calibre 32-car field were blanketed by less than a second in practice at Brands Hatch, any handicap is likely to be magnified.
With that in mind, Speedworks Team Principal Christian Dick is keeping his expectations in-check for the early stages of the weekend – albeit remaining hopeful that as the weight comes off, Ingram will be able to give full rein to both his and the Avensis’ potential.
“It was obviously fantastic to start the season in such emphatic fashion at Brands Hatch, and to be the fastest in the field in the only race in which everybody is on zero ballast – for the second year running – proves that our trusty Toyota is inherently a very quick car indeed,” Dick said.
“We similarly showed that by topping the timesheets in the official pre-season BTCC test at Donington last month, but we are under no illusions that we will be in for a much tougher challenge this weekend – particularly in qualifying and race one.
“The BTCC is so ultra-competitive right now, and that level of weight will probably cost a few tenths per lap around Donington – possibly more over a race distance. You only have to look at last year when Gordon Shedden was unable to stay inside the top ten on 66kg, so we’re certainly going to have a fight on our hands. That said, it’s a battle we’re relishing – and with our sights focussed firmly on the bigger picture, hopefully it will be a case of short-term pain for long-term gain.”