Tom Ingram: “We’re back in the title hunt”
Tom Ingram says he feels he is now back in the race for the British Touring Car Championship title after closing to within 30 points of current leader Ash Sutton at Croft.
Ingram had gone into the weekend sitting 42 points off top spot having missed on what looked set to be a sure fire win at Silverstone following a puncture whilst leading.
Despite missing most of first practice, the Speedworks driver mastered tricky conditions in qualifying in North Yorkshire to put his Toyota Corolla on pole position only to be demoted to the back of the grid when a wishbone failure resulted in the car failing the ride height test.
Ingram fought back in the opening race of the weekend to fight his way up to 13th place and then took the ballast-free Toyota through to fourth in his 200th start in race two.
That was enough to leave Ingram third on the reverse grid for the final race of the weekend, and a strong opening lap saw him get ahead of Dan Cammish off the line before a committed move for the lead at the Jim Clark Esses got him ahead of Tom Chilton.
Even though a safety car would back up the field, and he developed a vibration late on, Ingram held on to take a victory that leave him now 29 points off the points lead with two rounds – and six races – left to turn.
“It had the recipe to be a really difficult day today and it was, but we kept our head up,” he said. “We got to 13th in race one but the key was then getting up to P4 in race two. You need luck with the reverse grid and that isn’t something we have really benefitted from in the past, so it feels like that was the first time it actually helped us!
“Did I expect to be winning after yesterday? No – but I wanted to try and get onto the podium and the results this weekend show how things can turn around. We stayed positive, didn’t let things get us down after qualifying and just focused on the fact that we could still do something with the weekend; we just had to focus on race three rather than race one.
“A fourth place and a win is a great haul of points and the gap has come down from 42 points to 29, so we can give ourselves a big pat on the back. I feel we’re genuinely in the title hunt now and whilst we are an outside bet, I wouldn’t put it past us.”