Speedworks Motorsport has continued its run of reaching the rostrum at every circuit so far during the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, as Tom Ingram survived a wild first race at ultra-fast Thruxton to tally a superb second-place finish.
Thruxton was the scene of Ingram’s first car racing podium in 2009 and maiden triumph a year later, and the talented Bucks ace has always been a fan of the formidable Hampshire track where drivers can reach up to 160mph.
After topping the timesheets in free practice by the staggering margin of more than half-a-second, Ingram engaged in a mesmerising see-saw duel for supremacy in qualifying with multiple BTCC Champion and current points leader Matt Neal.
Youth ultimately prevailed over experience as the 22-year-old British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star produced a stunning effort to secure his and Speedworks’ second career pole position amongst the 32 high-calibre contenders.
Ingram retained his advantage when the lights went out in race one, but a series of assaults from rivals soon relegated him to fifth and left the #80 Toyota Avensis sporting a flailing rear bumper.
Nevertheless, he fought back to second when a red flag brought proceedings to a premature conclusion, securing another podium.
A drive-through penalty scuppered his chances of another podium in race two and from 20th on the grid in the final outing, Ingram scythed through to the field and looked on course for points, only for an alternator belt failure to spell an early bath.
Ingram occupies 11th in the overall Drivers’ table and seventh amongst the Independent entries.
He said: “Whilst it’s disappointing to be reflecting on another weekend of what should have been, there are a lot of positives to take from Thruxton.
“Qualifying was really exciting, and race one was every bit as dramatic!
“With punctures being such a hot topic there, I knew it would be important to look after the tyres, but at the same time, when you’re fighting for position, your racer’s instinct kicks in so it’s a real balancing act.
“I felt like I was used as a bit of a pinball for the first few laps, but the car stood up well to the punishment and so did the tyres.
“We’ve taken a quantum leap forward, from being sporadic front-runners to a regular threat now for podiums and wins. The potential is massive, and once we finally string a full weekend together, we’ll be flying!”