Ingram flies to race two victory
Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram strode to a commanding victory in Round 5 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, with Rob Collard and Ash Sutton rounding out the podium.
Ingram’s Toyota has proven a potent machine so far this term – already topping the charts with a victory at Brands Hatch. The Avensis has displayed the same pace here at Donington Park, finishing inside the top five in every session this weekend.
“I’m lost for words!” said Ingram. “I knew we would stand a fighting chance but I honestly didn’t expect to win like that, from where we were on the grid and with a little bit of weight on-board. We expected it to be tough to match the pace of the BMWs, but boy, aren’t Speedworks doing a great job at the moment!”
Four laps into race two, Ingram made his presence felt – taking advantage of inter-Team BMW battling to fire into second spot.
Pole-sitter Aiden Moffat had started well, pulling out a dozen car-lengths on the chasing pack with Rob Collard and Colin Turkington duelling either side of Rob Austin’s Avensis. Austin fell away to a non-finish after being shuffled down to tenth place, finding himself beached in the gravel.
Collard charged into second spot having taken the high ground in that duel with the inside line on the run down to the Old Hairpin. Ingram followed the Hampshire racer through past Austin, with Turkington’s sister BMW losing out, squeezed into fourth position.
Come the fourth tour, Moffat’s Mercedes, on option rubber and carrying maximum ballast, began to lose the early ground that had been gained through a strong start. Ingram closed in at a rate of knots and made his move heading down through the Craners. From there, he was firmly in command – pulling out an eventual four-second lead come the chequered flag to best-of-the rest Collard. Laser Tools Racing’s man managed 14th and points, defending defiantly throughout.
It was only just best-of-the-rest for the experienced West Surrey Racing man, though, as Ash Sutton – who had sensationally charged from 13th to 3rd – almost made a last-ditch move stick on the final lap. Collard would not be denied and a stoic defence into the Chicane ensured second spot would be his.
“That was a tough race,” commented Collard. “It all happened in the first few laps really – I almost got Aiden [Moffat] for the lead at Coppice but I was slightly caught out and that allowed Tom [Ingram] to get underneath me. I had to fight hard to get back up to second. Ash [Sutton] was catching me very quickly towards the end. That proves how quick he is as a young driver – definitely one to watch. I just had to try to keep it all under control; he gave me a cheeky tap at Coppice, but I knew if I could hold it there were yellow flags at the chicane, so I just managed to cling on.”
Sutton’s podium berth was all the more impressive given his lowly grid slot in the opening round. He was demoted to 31st due to an exclusion from Saturday’s qualifying session for a technical infringement. The response has since been emphatic.
“Qualifying obviously didn’t go to plan this weekend, and after being relegated to the back of the grid, our long-term goal was to aim for the podium in race three – and we obviously achieved it early! The car felt phenomenal – really mega – in both of the first two races. I think we’ve showed what the Subaru Levorg is capable of, and what I’m capable of in a rear-wheel drive car. It’s nice to finally get some momentum behind us.”
Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport’s Josh Cook was another climber. Starting an encouraging tenth, the lime-green Focus was steered to fourth after a string of precisely-executed manoeuvres, his last on double champion Colin Turkington. That result yielded another best-yet for Maximum colours, following hot on the heels of Cook’s seventh at Brands Hatch Indy.
The Halfords Yuasa Racing pairing came home line astern with Gordon Shedden sixth and Matt Neal seventh after a busy 16 lap contest.
New entrant for 2017, BTC Norlin Racing, produced its best result in the BTCC yet with eighth through Dave Newsham’s swashbuckling drive – enough for reverse grid pole position ahead of the final round of the day.
Jack Goff and Tom Chilton rounded out the top ten, the latter gaining significant ground – some 18 positions.
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 5 – Donington Park
1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport 16 laps
2 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +3.865s
3 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +4.085s
4 Josh COOK (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +10.112s
5 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +14.134s
6 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +15.340s
7 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +20.817s
8 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +21.912s
9 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +24.793s
10 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +27.670s
11 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +28.118s
12 Ant WHORTON-EALES (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +28.196s
13 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +28.241s
14 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +35.766s
15 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +36.144s
16 Luke DAVENPORT (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +36.500s
17 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +36.829s
18 Aron TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +37.210s
19 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +37.474s
20 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +37.775s
21 Daniel LLOYD (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +38.046s
22 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +39.632s
23 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +40.332s
24 James COLE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +41.484s
25 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +41.684s
26 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +1m00.116s
27 Will BURNS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +1m14.522s
28 Josh PRICE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +2 laps
29 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +2 laps
30 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +3 laps
31 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +13 laps
32 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat with Duo +16 laps