INGRAM STORMS TO TOP OF THE TIMES
Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com’s Tom Ingram recorded the fastest lap of this morning’s session as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship’s two-day Goodyear tyre test kicked off at a damp and drizzly Oulton Park.
Jake Hill (MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square) topped the timesheets during the earlier stages before Ingram pipped the Ford Focus by 0.088s and held the top spot for the remainder of the morning, while Gordon Shedden (Halfords Racing with Cataclean) went third-fastest in the #52 Honda Civic Type R.
“Oulton is actually a circuit that I really enjoy driving around but I’ve not had really good results round here over the last seven years,” said Ingram. “It’s one of the only places that I haven’t had a proper crack at getting a podium, race wins or anything. So it’s a circuit I’ve got a bit of work to do.
“Set up-wise, it was nice to come in, the first time I’ve driven the car around here, and actually see it’s in a really nice place already. Spencer and I have been tweaking away over the course of the morning and actually found a car that’s really nice to drive and really rewarding. So from that point of view, it’s good. Also with the weight that we’re carrying, 66kg [of success ballast], so we knew it’s going to make it feel slower.
“If we can be quick in the wet hopefully we can be just as quick in the dry as well. Fingers crossed we’ll have dry running this afternoon and we can compare it to the wet and see where we are really. But who knows, I enjoy driving in the wet and I know I can slightly overturn the disadvantages we have with the weight, but we shall see!”
Rory Butcher (Toyota Gazoo Racing UK), Chris Smiley (Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.om) and Jack Goff (Team HARD. with Autrobrite Direct) completed the top six.
The MB Motorsport-run Ford of Ollie Jackson took seventh-fastest ahead of four-time BTCC Champion Colin Turkington (Team BMW), as Sam Osborne (Racing with Wera & Photon Group) and the manufacturer-backed Toyota Corolla of Sam Smelt took ninth and tenth on the timesheets respectively.
A total of 24 of the 30 drivers – including BTCC Champion Andrew Jordan manning the TOCA Hybrid machine – headed out during the session, with over 500 laps of the 2.23-mile circuit completed.
As the rain persisted and with a drier afternoon on the cards, the morning session would come to an early conclusion, in order to give the opportunity for more dry running later on today, with the action now due to get back underway from 1300.
Click here for the full result from this morning’s session during the opening day of testing at Oulton Park.