Ingram stretches his lead after ‘mega’ weekend at Thruxton

TROPHY HAUL: Tom Ingram added another to his collection this week. Picture: Matt Sayle Photography
TROPHY HAUL: Tom Ingram added another to his collection this week. Picture: Matt Sayle Photography

Tom Ingram defied the odds to increase his lead in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton at the weekend, as Speedworks Motorsport unleashed a superb performance to tame the fastest circuit in the country with a trio of top four finishes.

Having moved to the top of the points table three weeks earlier courtesy of a second victory of the campaign at Donington Park behind the wheel of his Toyota Avensis, Ingram arrived at Thruxton with his sights set on consolidating his position, albeit carrying 66kg of ballast aboard the #80 entry.

But that was not enough to prevent the Bucks driver from delivering an swift lap in qualifying for fourth on the grid for the weekend’s first outing.

In front of the live ITV4 television cameras, Ingram maintained station in race one as the Avensis carried the weight well throughout, applying pressure on Jack Goff in a lighter car ahead while simultaneously staving off a threat from behind.

Fourth place marked an excellent result, and with less ballast on-board for race two, the three-time Ginetta Champion and former British Karting Champion was truly able to go on the attack.

An incident-packed second race was twice stopped by red flags, the second time for good, but not before Ingram had worked his way through to third and on the podium.

A second podium finish followed in the day’s finale as Ingram claimed an impressive runners-up spot, enabling him to extend his overall championship lead to 17 points and his margin in the Independents’ Trophy to 21, with Speedworks similarly stretching its legs in the team standings ahead of the next meeting at Oulton Park.

“What a mega weekend!,” exclaimed a delighted Ingram. “We went to Thruxton with what we thought were very realistic expectations. We were obviously carrying a lot of weight, but it’s also a track that I love – one that really rewards bravery and commitment – and having set a new lap record there in qualifying last year, I was looking forward to going back.

“To come away having actually extended our points lead is incredible. We honestly never expected to do so well, but it just goes to show once again what an awesome job Speedworks are doing on a very limited budget. I still can’t quite believe what we have achieved over the first third of the season – it’s amazing.”