INGRAM OUT FRONT IN FP1
Tom Ingram’s fine form continued during the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Free Practice session at Croft as the Hyundai man topped the times.
Ingram claimed a dynamic double triumph at Oulton Park last time out as his Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com team forges a first-ever title attack. The 28-year-old is no stranger to a championship challenge himself of course, but this partnership between the driver and team is fast becoming one of the most competitive on the grid.
The #80 machine clocked a 1:21.645s midway through FP1 – a time already quick enough to break the existing qualifying lap record – as Ingram edged out the Scottish duo of Gordon Shedden (Halfords Racing with Cataclean) and Rory Butcher (Toyota GAZOO Racing UK).
“A really, really good session,” said Ingram. “The car felt fantastic straight out of the box, it’s felt really good again. Very similar to Oulton in the sense that we’ve rolled it out and it’s really, really good. We’re tweaking again, we’ll have a little fiddle between FP1 and FP2 and see what goes on. The car feels in a really nice place at the moment so if we can stick with it as it is I’ll be happy, but there’s a little bit more to be had and a couple of areas we can improve. But as a starting point, I’m really pleased.
“It’s nice coming into a weekend having had a good one previously, everyone’s just happy and this game is so much about confidence and building on momentum and I think we’ve seen that over the years, not just myself, but Ash [Sutton], Colin [Turkington], Gordon [Shedden], loads of others you could name, you have one good weekend and it rolls over onto the next one. So hopefully it’s a good thing where we are at the moment. But we’ll wait and see what happens. As I always say after FP1, it is only FP1 so let’s wait and see how it goes moving forward now.”
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Butcher in third place, as the #6 Toyota suffered an electrical fire during the session and had to be recovered.
The BMW duo of Adam Morgan (Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport) and Jake Hill (ROKiT MB Motorsport) were next in the order with both of the young chargers expected to go well at the rear-wheel drive friendly circuit that is Croft.
Last year’s Croft pole-sitter and race one winner Aiden Moffat (Laser Tools Racing) was sixth, wedged between a gaggle of Bavarian machines as the Team BMW duo of Colin Turkington and Stephen Jelley were seventh and eighth respectively.
Dan Cammish (NAPA Racing UK) and George Gamble (Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport) completed the top ten positions.
FP2 will take place at 1205 with qualifying commencing at 1520, the latter session being streamed live via www.itv.com/btcc.
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Croft
1. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com 1:21.645s
2. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.159s
3. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +0.390s
4. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.466s
5. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +0.473s
6. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.578s
7. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.609s
8. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +0.637s
9. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.637s
10. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.679s
11. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.693s
12. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.705s
13. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.711s
14. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.832s
15. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.930s
16. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +1.035s
17. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.094s
18. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +1.197s
19. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +1.225s
20. James GORNALL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +1.303s
21. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.354s
22. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +1.453s
23. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +1.566s
24. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.629s
25. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +1.999s
26. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +2.207s
27. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +2.268s
28. Will POWELL (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +3.420s