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TITLE RACE BLOWN WIDE OPEN AS INGRAM WINS THRUXTON OPENER

Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters’ Tom Ingram took his first Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship victory of the season with a faultless display in the opening contest at Thruxton, whilst standings leader Colin Turkington failed to score for the first time this season as the title race took a significant twist.

Ingram blasted his #80 Toyota Corolla off the line and past pole-sitter Dan Cammish, whilst Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal and Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools’ Adam Morgan slotted into third and fourth.

Cammish pressured Ingram throughout the race with the Honda Civic Type R quicker towards the end of each lap, whilst the Toyota pulled clear in the early sectors. It was a game of cat and mouse for the 16-laps duration, with Ingram’s ‘lively’ Toyota often getting two wheels on the grass on the exit of Church.

Honda star Cammish made one last attempt through the chicane on the final tour but Ingram held on to take a popular victory, whilst Neal continued his incredible run of scoring a Thruxton podium every year since 2002.

Morgan’s Mercedes proved a potent force to take a comfortable fourth, but it was the battle behind involving the leading trio in the Drivers’ standings that proved to be the most significant battle in the contest.

At one stage the Motorbase Performance Ford of Rory Butcher was ahead of Team BMW’s Colin Turkington and Laser Tools Racing’s Ash Sutton, but it all changed around the midway mark.

The extremely rare sight of a struggling BMW was exactly what many title protagonists had secretly been hoping for and that’s exactly what happened when a misfire on the #1 car of Turkington sent the four-time champion tumbling down the order. The Northern Irishman eventually pitted for repairs and although he returned to the action he was way out of contention, ending his sequence of finishing inside the top ten in every race so far this season.

The moment seemed to inspire Sutton as he made a late ballsy move by Butcher at the Complex and when the Honda of Jake Hill also spun out, suddenly Sutton held fifth and with it the championship lead by a single point.

The BTC Racing stable claimed seventh, ninth and tenth with Tom Chilton, Josh Cook and Michael Crees respectively, whilst the Team BMW car of Tom Oliphant finished among them to claim eighth.

Race two gets underway at 1435 before the finale commences at 1725 – all the action and support series’ races are LIVE right now on ITV2.

Tom Ingram said: “Dan had me on the edge of my seat as much as the car did to be perfectly honest, she was a bit lively in the lap few laps. I could see Dan was strong. Of course he was, he’s top drawer and he’s in a top car around here. I knew it would be difficult to get him on sheer pace, so I had to get him off the line. So I was well chuffed to get it off the line and well, well, well chuffed to get our first win of the year.

“Church definitely felt a lot more lively than it did in qualifying, I don’t know if it’s wind direction or anything today. I could see that Dan was super strong through that sector. I could gap him in sector one and sector two and then we’d get to sector three and he’d be coming at me like a freight train. So I knew I had my work to do in the first sector to make up what I was going to lose in the final third. I think I’ve probably earnt my Ginsters lunch now.

“I think it’s going to be lively races all afternoon.”

Dan Cammish said: “I didn’t want to make a jump start, I don’t want to make a mistake so I was focussed on making sure they were definitely out and it wasn’t going to be an issue and it just wasn’t a good enough start from my point.

“Whether or not we’d have had enough to beat Tom, hard to say. He’s very, very quick and he’s pushing hard. He had quite a few moments and I thought one of those would eventually bite him, especially if I kept pushing him hard enough. We could drive quite a bit neater in certain places, and weren’t under the same stress. But he held onto it no matter how much I was hoping he would eventually drag it onto the dirt and that would be it.

“We got close, some of the changes we made in qualifying worked when the tyre was brand new and I’m not sure they work now we’re up and running. As the tyre degrades I can’t use what I had, but I think we can go away and change it and go better again. It seemed like we were quite a long way ahead of third, so it seemed like me and Tom had some good performance. Of course, it’s disappointing to start on pole and not win the race but great points and we go again for the next one.”

2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Thruxton

1          Tom INGRAM (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters 16 laps
2          Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.644s
3          Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +8.578s
4          Adam MORGAN (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools +9.064s
5          Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +18.578s
6          Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Motorbase Performance +19.776s
7          Tom CHILTON (GBR) BTC Racing +20.374s
8          Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +21.234s
9          Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +21.487s
10        Michael CREES (GBR) The Clever Baggers with BTC Racing +21.888s
11        Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +24.456s
12        Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Power Maxed Car Care Racing +27.261s
13        Chris SMILEY (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +27.587s
14        Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +27.879s
15        Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +29.910s
16        Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +30.192s
17        Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +30.478s
18        James GORNALL (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +38.403
19        Jack BUTEL (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools +44.675s
20       Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +48.784s
21        Tom ONSLOW-COLE (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport  +52.965s
22        Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +1 lap
23        Sam OSBORNE (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +3 laps
24        Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +4 laps
25        Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) HUB Financial Solutions with Team HARD +6 laps
26        Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Team HARD +15 laps
DQ        Andy NEATE (GBR) Motorbase Performance +6 laps

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