TOM INGRAM TOPS PRE-SEASON TEST AT SILVERSTONE
Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters’ Tom Ingram topped the times during the only official Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship pre-season test at Silverstone today (17 March).
The Toyota Corolla of Ingram went fastest during the quicker afternoon session with a 1:06.171s lap time, but was closely followed by morning pace-setter Jake Hill in the MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Honda Civic.
“It’s obviously pleasing to set the first fastest time of the season,” said Ingram. “I really like the International layout – it’s a cool little track that should generate some good, exciting racing with its mixture of fast, medium and slow-speed sections.
“We saw today that the times were really close – almost a mirror image of the National circuit – and we got lots of laps in. We completed almost 100 laps in total, which enabled us to work through a lot of our planned programme and the car felt really good. We’ve definitely taken a big step forward with the Corolla over the winter, and the best bit is we know there’s even more still to extract. We’re in a really good place right now.”
Hill had already impressed during a late morning run on fresh Goodyear tyres, and the young Kent star proved his pace again later in the day – falling short of Ingram’s benchmark by just 0.051s.
With the BTCC using the Silverstone International Circuit for the very first time, it was the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda of Dan Cammish that claimed third once the chequered flag had fallen.
The two new machines in this year’s BTCC produced hugely encouraging performances with Rory Butcher in the latest generation Motorbase Performance Ford Focus and Senna Proctor – running the Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 – placing fourth and sixth respectively.
Sandwiched between the BTCC’s two latest cars on the timesheets was the #1 BMW of reigning champion Colin Turkington, with the 3 Series sporting its striking new look stealth colours for the first time.
Former champions Andrew Jordan (Team BMW) and Matt Neal (Halfords Yuasa Racing) were next in the order, whilst Ash Sutton (Laser Tools Racing) and Chris Smiley (Excelr8 Motorsport) completed the top ten.
Sutton was making his competitive debut in the Infiniti Q50, whilst Smiley confirmed the potential of the all-new BTCC Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance as both cars set lap times inside the top ten positions.
Earlier in the day Series Organiser, TOCA, announced it would be postponing the first three BTCC events of the season due to the government’s updated coronavirus directives (see separate statement).
Every attempt will be made to reschedule the early season events at Donington Park, Brands Hatch and Silverstone, although confirmation of this will be provided once further clarity regarding the eventual resumption of major sporting events is known.
2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Pre-Season Test – Silverstone International Circuit
1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters 1:06.171s
2 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.051s
3 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.319s
4 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Motorbase Performance +0.441s
5 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.514s
6 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +0.609s
7 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) Team BMW +0.656s
8 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.754s
9 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.797s
10 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +0.826s
11 James GORNALL (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +0.856s
12 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.860s
13 Michael CREES (GBR) Clever Baggers with BTC Racing +0.890s
14 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +0.895s
15 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +0.909s
16 Jason PLATO (GBR) Power Maxed Car Care Racing +0.935s
17 Tom CHILTON (GBR) BTC Racing +1.002s
18 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +1.089s
19 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +1.094s
20 Josh WEBSTER (GBR) Team Parker Racing +1.102s
21 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) HUB Financial Solutions with Team HARD. +1.147s
22 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing Cataclean Mac Tools +1.269s
23 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +1.294s
24 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Power Maxed Car Care Racing +1.395s
25 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Team HARD. +1.418s
26 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing Cataclean Mac Tools +1.473s
27 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.582s
28 Howard FULLER (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +1.586s
29 Andy NEATE (GBR) Motorbase Performance +2.654s