INGRAM IGNITES TITLE CHALLENGE WITH VICTORY
Tom Ingram produced a last lap lunge to take victory in Round 8 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, as long-time leader Tom Oliphant eventually lost out during a pulsating contest.
Team BMW’s Oliphant led for more than 26 of the 27 laps as the race one winner desperately tried to hang on with maximum ballast onboard his 330i M Sport.
A slight gap was left going into Paddock Hill Bend for the final time, and the Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com Hyundai of Ingram immediately filled it. Inevitable contact followed with Ingram completing the pass going into Druids. Reigning champion Ash Sutton also spied his opportunity as the Laser Tools Racing car ran side-by-side with Oliphant’s BMW across the start/finish line, with the former snatching second by just 0.038s.
Drama unfolded almost immediately during the second bout of the day when Gordon Shedden’s Team Dynamics-run Honda was tipped into a half spin on the opening tour, before even heavier contact followed with Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley on the second lap.
The #52 Halfords Racing with Cataclean car of Shedden made it out of the gravel – albeit having fallen way down the order – but the safety car was deployed with Jelley’s Bavarian machine beached at Paddock Hill.
Daniel Rowbottom provided some joy for the Team Dynamics squad as he took fourth at the conclusion of the race, ahead of a feisty Josh Cook in the BTC Racing Honda – the latter also recording the fastest lap.
Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing enjoyed its most positive performance in a number of races as Daniel Lloyd and Jason Plato came home in sixth and eighth respectively.
Chris Smiley (Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com) and Aiden Moffat (Laser Tools Racing) continued their positive points scoring contributions with seventh and ninth, whilst Senna Proctor completed the top ten.
There was heartbreak for home hero Jake Hill when his MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Ford suffered from a puncture whilst fighting for a podium.
Ingram picked out the #12 ball during the reverse grid draw post-race, meaning Adam Morgan (Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport) and Jack Goff (Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct) will occupy the front row for the finale at 1730 – which will be aired live on ITV3.
Tom Ingram said: “It was great fun; those sorts of races are just about taking your time and seeing what’s going on. Tom [Oliphant] was crazy fast! With 75kg [of success ballast] in, they’ve done a brilliant job with that car because he was hard to catch. I had half of what he had and I was struggling, really struggling. Full respect, they’ve got a very, very strong car there.
“It took me a while to catch him. I could see that the only two places I was quicker than him – coming through Clearways and then going into Paddock. I was just biding my time and trying to see where Tom was quick, where he wasn’t, where I had a little advantage. It was a bit of cat and mouse over the course of the whole lap.
“I got a fantastic run coming through Clearways on the final lap and Tom left a gap and that’s where I didn’t need a second invitation. He left plenty of room down the inside, which I didn’t need a second invitation to fill.
“Two wins in two weekends is fantastic. At some point in the middle of the week I woke up and thought ‘I fancy race two this weekend, I can see how it’s going to map out, being heavier in race one and then taking a bit of weight out for race two’, and it just worked really well. I’m so pleased and we’ll see what happens in the third race.”
Ash Sutton said: “It was one of those, I just stuck there, obviously the engine was getting hot and the temperatures were getting hot, and was struggling to get a move done on Dan [Rowbottom]. I saw him start to struggle with his fronts, so it was just a case of setting that move up. It was mega to get the undercut on Dan and then we managed to get the same on Tom [Oliphant]. I think Tom picked up a bit of debris and dirt from the little contact with Tom [Ingram]. It was mega, a fantastic finish which sets us up well for the final race.
Tom Oliphant said: “I’ve got a big smile on my face, obviously I’ve had good fun and I’m carrying 75kg so I was going to struggle, especially when Tom and Ash were coming through on half my weight. I thought I managed the race really well and obviously kept him behind me. My last lap I was optimistic, but Tom was alongside me and he hit me. He is an aggressive driver and I essentially should have defended harder, but we had done that 12 laps earlier and he wasn’t any closer. I thought he’d be a bit sensible. But I’m pleased with P3 and to come away with that many points really kick-starts my season and it just means I’m lighter and further forward for the reverse grid so it’s all really positive.”
2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 2 – Brands Hatch Indy
1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com 27 laps
2 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.489s
3 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.527s
4 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.972s
5 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +1.213s
6 Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +1.630s
7 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +1.957s
8 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +2.194s
9 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +8.394s
10 Senna PROCTOR(GBR) BTC Racing +8.794s
11 Jack GOFF (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +9.232s
12 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +10.066s
13 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +10.468s
14 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +11.212s
15 Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions +11.599s
16 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +13.169s
17 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +13.590s
18 Sam SMELT (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +14.034s
19 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +14.909s
20 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +15.251s
21 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +19.035s
22 Jade EDWARDS (GBR) PHSC with BTC Racing +20.337s
23 Rick PARFITT (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +22.885s
24 Andy NEATE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +23.690s
25 Jack BUTEL (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +23.818s
26 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading +23.986s
27 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +2 laps
28 Glynn GEDDIE (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +15 laps
29 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +26 laps