Ingram at the double
Tom Ingram doubled up by setting the pace in the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship practice session at Rockingham, as he had done in the earlier running around the 1.94-mile Northamptonshire circuit.
A warmer track temperature meant that overall lap times were slower compared to the opening session, but it was still Ingram leading the way in his Toyota Avensis. 27 cars were blanketed by less than a second in the fraught final preprations ahead of qualifying at 15:30 later today.
Speedworks Motorsport man Ingram has been one of the quickest drivers throughout the 2017 BTCC campaign, but a mid-season slump had seemingly put paid to his championship hopes. A win at Knockhill last time out, however, has reignited his title charge and positive results here could once again see the 26-year-old back in the mix.
“I don’t know if the circuit’s changed but we were the best part of three to four tenths slower than we went in FP1,” commented Ingram. “It is hotter now and the circuit seems to have taken a step back. It’s all about managing the tyres here. We know it’s a case of nursing them which from our point of view as drivers is difficult, as you have to balance trying to go as fast as you can with managing the rubber.”
Rockingham is a happy hunting ground for Ingram and was the venue for his first ever BTCC podium back in 2015.
“I’ve always gone really well here though,” he concluded. “I’ve always got on really well with the place in everything I have ever driven. If we can continue this weekend as we finished at Knockhill, I’ll be happy.”
Honda machinery held second, third and fourth places on the timesheets in FP2 as Independent runner Jack Goff edged out the manufacturer-backed duo of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal.
Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo’s Mat Jackson claimed fifth ahead of an impressive run from Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat.
Ant Whorton-Eales backed-up his earlier encouraging showing by taking seventh in the AmD Audi. The rookie claimed his first ever BTCC top ten finish at Knockhill earlier this month, and the reigning Renault UK Clio Cup Champion looks to have solid potential again at Rockingham.
Adam Morgan proved the potency of the Mercedes A-Class with eighth, whilst the Subaru pairing of Jason Plato and Josh Price completed the top ten placings.
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 2 – Rockingham
1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport 1m23.277s (mph)
2 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +0.088s
3 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.164s
4 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.199s
5 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +0.238s
6 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.302s
7 Ant WHORTON-EALES (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +0.317s
8 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +0.354s
9 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.394s
10 Josh PRICE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.420s
11 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +0.430s
12 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +0.437s
13 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +0.482s
14 Aron TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +0.496s
15 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +0.528s
16 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.561s
17 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +0.576s
18 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +0.605s
19 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +0.637s
20 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.647s
21 Michael EPPS (GBR) TAG Racing +0.700s
22 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +0.709s
23 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +0.794s
24 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +0.843s
25 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +0.872s
26 James COLE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.894s
27 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +0.910s
28 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +1.071s
29 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +1.094s
30 Brett SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +1.135s
31 Will BURNS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +1.140s
32 Stewart LINES (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport NO TIME