INGRAM IN THE GROOVE AT BRANDS HATCH
Standings leader Tom Ingram has continued his early-season form by topping the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship’s opening free practice session at Brands Hatch this morning.
Ingram won the BTCC curtain-raiser at Donington Park last month, and the young charger has again displayed the pace of the EXCELR8 Motorsport-run Hyundai by setting the pace at the famous Indy circuit in Kent.
“It feels really good, it’s nice to jump into a race weekend leading the championship and have a good car,” said the Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com man. “Historically, you’d get in the car and think it just felt a bit rubbish with the 75kg or 66kg [of success ballast]. It means that, from a headspace point of view, you can come in and [the car] feels like you can race with it. All of us will be getting faster and faster because the cars will improve throughout the season.
“Obviously, I haven’t got any hybrid for qualifying today, so it’ll be interesting to see the effect of that. It’s going to be the first time for us all to see that. We’ve seen it in a race distance of course but are yet to see it over the course of a qualifying session, so it’ll be interesting to see how that one works out!”
The next seven positions on the timesheets were occupied by either BMW or Honda machinery as the two ultra-successful marques have also shown their own prowess in this new era of touring car racing.
Adam Morgan (Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport) and Stephen Jelley (Team BMW) fired their respective 330e M Sports into second and third respectively, whilst Gordon Shedden (Halfords Racing with Cataclean) and Josh Cook (Rich Energy BTC Racing) were next up in their Civic Type Rs.
Jake Hill – Donington Park pole-sitter and reverse-grid race winner – claimed sixth for ROKiT MB Motorsport, ahead of BTCC legends Colin Turkington (Team BMW) and Jason Plato (Rich Energy BTC Racing).
Rory Butcher provided some respite for Toyota GAZOO Racing UK with ninth, whilst Ash Hand performed well for CarStore Power Maxed Racing to round out the top ten.
It was a largely uneventful session although Michael Crees (CarStore Power Maxed Racing) and Daniel Lloyd (Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com) both endured off-track excursions.
Just 0.028s separated the top two drivers in the order, whilst a total of 25 cars were covered by less than a second.
Free Practice 2 commences at 1205 before Qualifying takes place at 1545, which will be streamed live via www.itv.com/btcc.
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Brands Hatch Indy
1. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com 48.089s
2. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.028s
3. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +0.040s
4. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.042s
5. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.100s
6. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +0.113s
7. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.138s
8. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.189s
9. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +0.192s
10. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.209s
11. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.223s
12. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.296s
13. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.299s
14. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.318s
15. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.339s
16. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.341s
17. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.400s
18. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +0.444s
19. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.539s
20. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +0.619s
21. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.726s
22. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +0.732s
23. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.749s
24. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +0.885s
25. Jack BUTEL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.991s
26. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +1.047s
27. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +1.068s
28. Will POWELL (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +1.264s
29. Rick PARFITT (GBR) Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing +1.649s