Tom Ingram secures championship lead at Donington Park
Tom Ingram admitted he was delighted to move to the head of the BTCC standings on the back of a race winning performance at Donington Park.
The Speedworks driver was able to maintain the impressive form he displayed at Brands Hatch on the opening weekend of the season, despite the additional success ballast being carried on his Toyota Avensis.
Starting from P3 on the grid in race one, Ingram took the lead in the early stages before slipping back to fifth on the harder compound tyre.
Back on the medium tyre for race two, Ingram battled his way to the front of the field and was then able to control proceedings as he secured a second win of the year before following it up with fifth in race three – albeit after a scare when he went off into the gravel at the Old Hairpin on the initial start.
Ingram had seemed set to come away from the weekend second in the points but the exclusion of Gordon Shedden from the results means he instead holds a 14 point lead heading to Thruxton.
“It’s been another strong weekend for us and we can come away from Donington with our head held high,” he told TouringCarTimes. “We have showed again that we deserve to mix it with the guys at the front and that we can carry the weight in the car.
“Race one was tough with the hard tyre as well and was always going to be damage limitation, but P5 was unexpected. In race two, I knew I just had to get ahead of Aiden Moffat and that I would be able to break away, which is what we managed to do.
“In my view, race three should never have started as the track was just too wet. I came on the radio and told the guys we had to delay it as it was too dangerous; I must have nearly gone off four or five times on the green flag laps.
“When they decided to start, I knew we had to just get on with it but when we got to the Old Hairpin, I just sailed straight on. Luckily I got the car out and was able to take the restart but those conditions aren’t enjoyable at all – you are just bracing yourself for an impact.
“It’s a shame for Gordon that he lost the win in race three, but I’m pleased that we are now leading the way going to Thruxton. We’ll run the car with full weight when we go there for the test on Thursday and see what we can learn to give us the best chance when the race weekend comes around.”