INGRAM EDGES OUT TITLE RIVALS TO TRIUMPH AT DONINGTON
Reigning champion Tom Ingram is refusing to give up his title without a fight as the BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 man wrestled victory away from title rival Ash Sutton in the second BTCC bout at Donington Park.
NAPA Racing UK’s Sutton maintained his lead from pole position while Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill initially held off Ingram as the pair ran down the Craner Curves for the first time.
Ingram made his way by Hill shortly after, before making a brilliant move past Sutton on the run down to the Old Hairpin.
Sutton immediately had to think about defending second place from Hill and his stablemate Colin Turkington as the BMW 330e M Sports closed in.
Hill showed his nose on a number of occasions and the pair even touched on the final lap, but Sutton claimed second ahead of Hill and Team BMW’s Turkington.
Josh Cook had a pretty lonely race to take fifth although the One Motorsport with Starline Racing Honda showed solid pace in the drier conditions, compared with its struggles earlier in the day.
Ricky Collard (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK) and Dan Rowbottom (NAPA Racing UK) were sixth and seventh respectively, whilst Rory Butcher (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK) won a ding-dong battle for eighth against Adam Morgan (Team BMW), with the pair swapping paint work and positions on a number of occasions.
CarStore Power Maxed Racing’s Aron Taylor-Smith was tenth, whilst Tom Chilton (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) and Daniel Lloyd (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils) finished outside the top ten, but have been rewarded with a front row start for the final race later today.
Tom Ingram said: “I think we should have been on pole yesterday. Arguably we had the pace, but I messed up in Qualifying. Once we bolted the slicks on, I thought ‘right it’s on, we’re having this’. The car came alive.
“We’ve been working through some issues this year just to understand what and where and how. We’ve come up with a fix, and Spencer [engineer] has given me one hell of a car to go back at them with. It might be too late but we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Ash Sutton said: “I put up a fight at the start but ultimately I had to look at the championship and be cautious.
“We were suffering quite a bit of brake failure so I had that in the back of my head which isn’t a nice experience. I was pumping the pedal three or four times every straight just to keep it there. I think Jake [Hill] knew that, he could see the brake lights coming on, so he tried to make the most of that but I held on.”
Jake Hill said: “It’s not too bad. Third and second – after the decision in the first race regarding me and Tom [Ingram] – so it hasn’t been a bad day. Wish I could have caught Ash but it was a good race in the end.”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Round 23 – Donington Park GP
1. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 14 laps
2. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +2.831s
3. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +3.045s
4. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +3.638s
5. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +8.016s
6. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +11.577s
7. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +12.157s
8. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +19.757s
9. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +20.487s
10. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +21.273s
11. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +22.123s
12. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +23.196s
13. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +23.544s
14. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +24.300s
15. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +25.684s
16. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +26.896s
17. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +35.577s
18. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +35.621s
19. Michael Crees, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +37.980s
20. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +42.545s
21. Jade Edwards, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1 lap
DNF. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK
DNF. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing
DNF. Daryl DeLeon, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD
DNF. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown