INGRAM FEELING ‘PUMPED UP’ AFTER DONINGTON PARK
For the third time in his career, Tom Ingram won the opening race of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, as the Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com star made history and drew first blood in the 2022 title chase at Donington Park (23/24 April).
Entering his ninth season in the UK’s premier motor racing series, Ingram started the weekend from fourth on the grid after a highly-competitive qualifying session on Saturday.
Weaving his way through the front three drivers, an epic battle saw him take the lead on the second lap, sealing his 20th career victory in the championship and win the first race of the 2022 season.
Not only was the Bucks-born driver able to secure the win, but also the coveted extra point for clinching the fastest lap during the encounter.
His earlier success meant that Ingram had fewer ‘boosts’ of hybrid power than the rest of the grid, but nonetheless, he went on to finish race two with an impressive second position, having lost the lead on lap ten to the attacking Honda of Gordon Shedden.
Round three’s partially-reversed grid saw the 28-year-old start from eighth and fight his way up the order to fifth at the chequered flag, earning a seven-point winning margin over the rest of the drivers in the championship standings as the field prepares for Brands Hatch’s Indy Circuit in little over a week’s time (14/15 May).
“That was a lot of fun – one of the most enjoyable weekends I’ve had in the BTCC,” said Ingram. “We worked so hard with the Hyundai over the winter, and it felt absolutely fantastic. In the corners, it was simply phenomenal – it did everything I wanted it to.
“Race one was the perfect way to begin the season – starting as we mean to go on! The first couple of laps were a bit spicy as it all kicked off ahead, and after that, with Colin [Turkington] pushing me along and Jake [Hill] closing onto the back of him, there was never any point at which I could just relax or focus on bringing it home. But becoming the first person ever to win in a hybrid touring car was awesome, and quite a cool thing to be able to say.
“Then I got another mega result in race two. I knew I had to try to keep my powder dry until later on when I would really need the hybrid boosts. I wanted to use them to attack rather than to defend, and that was what got me back into the fight towards the end. To come away with a double podium on Bristol Street Motors’ first weekend with the team was a brilliant outcome.
“I’ve got to say, not needing to keep adjusting the set-up to adapt to [success ballast] makes a massive difference. Now you can just make small tweaks rather than having to reinvent the wheel, and I like being a bit more in control of my own destiny.
“I don’t necessarily think we had the quickest car at Donington, but I feel in a very good place with the Hyundai at the moment and I’m really happy. I’ll go to Brands Hatch pumped up to try to qualify on pole.”