Oulton Park pole for Tom Ingram
Tom Ingram delivered the first-ever Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship pole position for EXCELR8 Motorsport – also a maiden qualifying triumph for a Hyundai – as the 28-year-old broke the existing qualifying lap record at Oulton Park.
An exciting session threw up a number of changes towards the top order, although Ingram was already in command by the midway point.
When the High Wycombe racer then bettered his own benchmark to clock a new 1:25.468s lap record, there was no coming back from the chasing pack.
Incredibly, Ingram will be aiming to reach the rostrum at Oulton Park tomorrow for the first time since his 2013 Ginetta GT Supercup title-winning campaign.
The positions behind did change throughout and it was Rory Butcher that left it late to blast his Toyota Corolla onto the front row of the grid.
The Scotsman endured a tough start to proceedings when track limit infringements left him languishing at the rear, but the Speedworks Motorsport man finally delivered for the local team as he snatched second in the closing minutes.
Daniel Lloyd made it a double celebration for Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com as he grabbed third, the Yorkshireman continuing to haul himself closer to the ultimate pace of team-mate Ingram.
Adam Morgan – a constant threat throughout the day – secured fourth for Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport as the home driver provided yet more cheer for the partizan Oulton Park fanbase.
NAPA Racing UK and Halfords Racing with Cataclean both enjoyed promising sessions with Ash Sutton, Dan Rowbottom, Dan Cammish and Gordon Shedden occupying fifth position through to eighth on the timesheets.
Title chasers – Colin Turkington (Team BMW) and Josh Cook (Rich Energy BTC Racing) – could only manage ninth and tenth as the lack of hybrid power available to them seemingly made an impact during qualifying.
Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place at the picturesque Cheshire circuit tomorrow with tickets for spectators still available to purchase on the gates.
Those unable to attend can enjoy the action live and exclusively via the ITV Network. Races 1 and 2 will be screened on ITV from 1210, before the coverage switches to ITV4 for Race 3 from 1505.
Tom Ingram said: “Really, really pleased with that, it was great to get it off my back. [Oulton Park] hasn’t been the kindest of circuits to me over the years, I think it’s been a by-product of having quite a strong start to the year, I’ve always come here with quite a lot of ballast in the past. So to be able to come in with a little bit of hybrid deployment still means we can make the car feel fantastic, and it felt phenomenal. It was the best I’ve had a car around here. It just did everything I wanted it to, so I’m really pleased.
“We did a slightly longer run throughout FP1 and the car felt great in that, and a good qualifying car usually means you’ve got quite a good race car. I hope that’s the case, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed. I’m going to get an early night tonight and see how we end up. It’s in good shape, the car’s feeling great.”
Rory Butcher said: “When you break track limits, you get penalised! I didn’t get a lap in on that first run, then in the second I started the lap and was like right, the pressure’s on let’s do this! And I just hooked it up and pieced the whole lap together. The guys have given me an amazing car, they’ve worked really hard. Yesterday, they had to swap an engine for me as we had an issue and had to replace it. They told me if I got on the front row I had to thank them, so I’m not going to forget!
“We’ll see what happens on that first lap, my starts have been mega this year, I’ve really made a step forward with them. So we’ll see who can make it to the first corner. We’re in a great place but it’s hard to overtake after that first lap. We’ll see what happens.”
Dan Lloyd said: “I’m over the moon with that! Really great. The pace is in the car and certainly it was a moment when the pressure was ramping up because I think I’d dropped down to P8. But I did a great lap at the end and I’m really pleased. We’re getting there now and finding our feet with the setup. I love Oulton Park, it’s one of my local circuits so fingers crossed it’ll be a good weekend. Well done to Tom [Ingram] it’s nice to be up there. We’re getting closer to him and we’ll get there eventually.
“In a situation like that, [the pressure] could’ve easily got to me. I’ve overdriven a few times this year when I’ve been struggling a little bit and I’m really trying to rein it in. We had a really messy run one and two and the car was quick enough for pole then, so to be sat in P8, knowing red flags and things were happening I was really thinking am I going to get a chance here. But when you’ve got one shot you’ve really got to nail it.”
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Oulton Park
1. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com 1:25.468s
2. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +0.186s
3. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.246s
4. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport + 0.257s
5. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.270s
6. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.313s
7. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.325s
8. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.379s
9. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.439s
10. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.462s
11. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +0.518s
12. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +0.543s
13. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.554s
14. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.603s
15. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +0.608s
16. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +0.679s
17. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.782s
18. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +0.797s
19. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +0.820s
20. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.839s
21. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.920s
22. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.011s
23. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +1.019s
24. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +1.059s
25. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +1.315s
26. Jack BUTEL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +1.478s
27. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +1.592s
28. Will POWELL (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +2.027s
29. Rick PARFITT (GBR) Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing +2.465s