Photo: PSP Images

Tom Ingram refuses to give up on title defence

Tom Ingram insists that he isn’t giving up on defending his BTCC title despite Ash Sutton further extending his advantage at the top of the standings to 42 points.

Ingram was able to take the challenge to Sutton in qualifying to score a place on the front row of the grid, and briefly held the lead of the first race before following his rival home to score second place and minimise his losses in the points.

However, post-race, Ingram was then hit with a controversial penalty for his defence from Jake Hill on the final lap – dropping him back to third.

A riled-up Ingram made amends in the next race as he stormed to a second win of the season and looked set to outscore Sutton in race three before he found himself stuck on the outside of Dan Rowbottom going into turn one as the Ford man ran wide with a puncture – causing a delay that allowed Sutton to nip ahead.

Despite losing ground as a result, Ingram admitted he was up for the fight with the race two performance having shown improved performance in the Hyundai.

“Once we bolted the slicks on for race two, I thought, ‘this is on – we’re having this’,” the Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 driver admitted. “The team did a great job and the Hyundai absolutely came alive. Perhaps there was a little bit of anger from my side thrown into it, too – maybe I need to be angry more often!

“It was the best the car has felt all year, which is really encouraging, and to put it right when it counted and come away with some big points after my mistake on Saturday was really satisfying and the least I could do. We really needed that.

“Honestly, I’ve never been so pumped following a race. Having been on the back foot all season and trying to play catch-up, it feels like we’ve taken a genuine step forward and have unlocked some real performance. Together with my engineer, Spencer and the whole team, we’ve been looking into every area to get the i30N back to the way we remembered it from last year, and it just felt phenomenal.

“They’ve given me one hell of a car that I can truly go on the attack with, and it actually feels like we’ve got a chance again. It might be too late now for the championship, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Never say never…”