Tom Ingram to spearhead Hyundai programme
Tom Ingram has been announced as the third member of the EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars line-up for the 2021 BTCC season after inking a multi-year deal with the Hyundai team.
The two-time Independent champion makes the switch to EXCELR8 following his departure from Speedworks over the winter, with the 27-year-old joining up with the returning Chris Smiley and fellow newcomer Jack Butel.
Ingram’s deal with the team is a ‘multi-year’ agreement, with his aim being to fight for the title and add to the 16 wins secured in his career to date.
“I’m immensely excited to announce my new deal with EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars,” he said. “When it became clear that commercially, we would not be able to continue with Speedworks, I spoke to a number of BTCC teams and to be honest, this was probably one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever had to make. We immediately ‘clicked’, right from the very first conversation.
“It’s great to have the security of a multi-year agreement, especially in the current climate. This is a long-term commitment on both sides, which means we know where we stand moving forward and gives us the opportunity to really grow together and establish EXCELR8 as a bona fide front-running team.
“We all naturally want to go out there and be as competitive as we can, and I personally want to be up at the sharp end, winning races and achieving consistent podium finishes this year.
“We’ve got the right people in the right places – from the engineering side to the design and team management – to do the best job possible, and the massive progress EXCELR8 made between their first and second season in the championship underscores just how serious and motivated these guys are.”
Whilst Ingram himself has snared more than 40 podium finishes in the series, third-year outfit EXCELR8 had scored just two thus far with the Hyundai, with Ingram confident that the Hyundai can be a regular contender during the year ahead.
“This feels like the start of something really, really exciting – I don’t regard it as a step backwards in any way,” he said. “From a performance perspective, I actually see it as a step forwards. The Hyundai has developed significantly over the past year, and it goes without saying that there’s a lot more potential – and pace – still to be extracted.
“It has almost the perfect body shape and wheelbase for the BTCC, blending the best attributes of the Toyota Corolla and Avensis that I’ve driven before, so I will be very surprised if we’re not a genuine contender for the championship this season – both the Independents’ title and the main one.”