Tom Ingram converts pole into opening race victory at Snetterton
Tom Ingram converted pole position into his second victory of the BTCC season after a lights-to-flag win in the opening race of the weekend at Snetterton.
The Speedworks driver has secured his place at the head of the field after beating Honda’s Dan Cammish to pole by just 0.002s, and was able to beat the Team Dynamics driver on the blast down to turn one to retain his position in the lead.
In what would prove to be a largely processional affair towards the sharp end of the grid, Ingram was kept honest by Cammish in the early stages, with the pair split by little more than half a second throughout the opening six laps before Ingram was able to start edging away.
Ingram would eventually take the chequered flag just over three seconds ahead of Cammish at the finish for his second victory of the campaign, having taken victory in the reverse grid race at Donington Park earlier in the year.
Behind the top two, Tom Chilton had managed to get ahead of the Honda of Sam Tordoff on the opening lap, but his hopes of pushing for victory would end on the fifth lap when the Motorbase Ford Focus went off the road into the tyres at Coram with an apparent front-left tyre issue.
That allowed Tordoff back through into third but the FK2 Honda Civic didn’t have the pace to try and reel in the two cars ahead, with Tordoff instead having to settle for the final place on the podium.
With the top three all on the more favourable soft tyre, championship leader Colin Turkington was the best placed of those to be running the medium compound tyre, with his BMW finishing in a lonely fourth place; the Northern Irishman extending his points lead over WSR team-mate Andrew Jordan as he took fifth.
Jordan had spent the whole race tucked up behind the Vauxhall Astra of Jason Plato, but a forceful move at the end of the Bentley Straight on lap ten allowed him to finally get ahead of the Power Maxed Racing man.
Plato was left to settle for sixth spot ahead of team-mate Rob Collard, with Ollie Jackson rounding out the top eight; with all of the drivers from Turkington down to the Motorbase Ford being on the medium tyre.
The soft-shod Honda of Matt Simpson took ninth for his best result of the season so far, with Jake Hill in tenth place being the best placed driver on the hard compound tyre, just ahead of Rory Butcher and Ash Sutton – both of whom were also on the hard tyre.
Elsewhere, one of the star drives of the race would come from Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat, who made the most of the soft tyres on his Infiniti Q50 to come from the back of the grid to finish 17th.
Matt Neal had been the best placed driver on the grid to gamble on running the hard tyre at the first opportunity, but his race would end early after contact from Jackson’s Focus broke an upright on the Honda Civic Type R, whilst a gearbox issue put Adam Morgan into retirement whilst running inside the top ten.