Ingram tops usual suspects
Tom Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) has set the early benchmark in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Free Practice session at Oulton Park, as the reigning champion topped a quintet of familiar faces.
Just under two tenths of a second separated the top five with Ingram ahead of Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing UK), Bobby Thompson (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils), Josh Cook (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) and Dan Cammish (NAPA Racing UK).
With four Drivers’ titles between Sutton and Ingram, it feels like the 2023 title race is beginning to take shape.
Ingram ignited his own championship charge here last season with two victories, at a circuit that had previously belonged to Turkington and BMW, with the latter coming home sixth in this particular session.
“It’s a good start to our weekend,” said Ingram. “We took two wins last year, so it would be fantastic if we could do something similar again. We know the car works well around this circuit.
“So far this season, we haven’t been grabbing all the headlines with loads of victories, but what we have been doing is consistently putting big scores on the board to stay in contention at the front.
“I’m quite okay with the fact that we’ve been going under the radar a little bit and we’re in a good position as a result, as consistently scoring those big points is what is important in a series like that.
“Saying that, I plan maximum attack this weekend as I want to push for pole position and wins to ensure that we can head into the summer break on a positive note.”
The lap times this morning are extremely close, with the Team HARD Cupra pairing of Bobby Thompson and Dan Lloyd (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils) leaving it until their final lap to fire themselves into third and eighth respectively.
The two Toyota Corollas of Ricky Collard and Rory Butcher (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK) were also inside the top ten, as was Andrew Watson in the CarStore Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall.
The leading Hyundai, Ford, Honda, BMW, Cupra, Toyota and Vauxhall were all covered by less than a second, suggesting FP2 and Qualifying is going to be extremely exciting later today.
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – FP1 – Oulton Park
1. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 1:25.507s
2. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +0.022s
3. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.070s
4. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +0.137s
5. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +0.186s
6. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +0.214s
7. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.506s
8. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.653s
9. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.675s
10. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.737s
11. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +0.782s
12. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +0.896s
13. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.967s
14. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.042s
15. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +1.149s
16. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +1.258s
17. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +1.283s
18. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +1.427s
19. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +1.506s
20. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1.535s
21. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.601s
22. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +1.716s
23. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +1.954s
24. Will Powell, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1.959s
25. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +2.821s
26. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +2.878s
27. Jade Edwards, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +3.682s