INGRAM LEAVES IT LATE TO TOP FP1
Title contender Tom Ingram fired in a late flyer to set the pace in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Free Practice session around the legendary Brands Hatch GP circuit.
Ingram – 45 points behind standings leader Ash Sutton – had only clocked a number of out/in laps for the first 35 minutes of running, as his BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 squad continued to tweak the car for a final flurry.
The first fast lap set by the #1 Hyundai was good enough for second, before Ingram immediately bettered that effort to hit the top.
“So far so good,” said Ingram. “We will make a few changes for the next one and let’s see where we end up.”
Local light Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport) led the way for much of the session, with BMW even holding a 1-2-3-4 at one point during the early stages, but the Kent racer eventually had to settle for second – just 0.018s off the summit.
NAPA Racing’s Sutton kept his title rival in his sights, ahead of what seemed to be an impressive run by Ricky Collard (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK), although the man himself suggested otherwise.
“I love the GP circuit,” said Collard. “I actually don’t think I drove very well in the session, and definitely dropped some time coming out of the last corner on my quickest run. P4, with more in the tank, is definitely a good start.
“I’m really enjoying it – I would just like to be a bit more competitive out on track. It would be great if we could try and get a podium, while a win would be mega. To come back here and win would be so special.”
All three Toyotas were inside the top ten after solid showings for Rory Butcher and George Gamble, whilst Stephen Jelley and Colin Turkington ensured there was also a trio of BMWs in the leading order.
It wasn’t all good news for the Bavarian marque, however, as Adam Morgan’s #33 BMW 330e M Sport ground to a halt midway through the session.
Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown’s Bobby Thompson enjoyed a good run, as the Essex drive fired his Cupra into the top six.
FP2 commences at 1215 before the final Qualifying session of the season commences at 1540, with the latter session being streamed live via the ITV Sport YouTube channel.
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – FP1 – Brands Hatch GP
1. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 1:30.712s
2. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +0.018s
3. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +0.172s
4. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.203s
5. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +0.251s
6. Bobby Thompson, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +0.278s
7. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +0.312s
8. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.463s
9. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +0.505s
10. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.759s
11. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +0.840s
12. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.852s
13. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.883s
14. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +1.067s
15. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1.077s
16. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +1.089s
17. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.318s
18. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +1.352s
19. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +1.440s
20. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +1.472s
21. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.518s
22. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +1.656s
23. Daryl DeLeon, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +1.837s
24. Michael Crees, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +1.892s
25. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +2.939s
26. Jade Edwards, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +4.166s
27. James Gornall, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +5.287s