Tom Ingram endured a torrid time of things at Oulton Park last weekend as Speedworks Motorsport found itself out-of-luck on home turf in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Ingram and Speedworks arrived at Oulton riding the crest of a wave, off the back of a brace of victories and three further podium finishes from the opening nine races of 2017.
But with maximum success ballast aboard Ingram’s Toyota Avensis, the tone for their weekend was set in qualifying when he could only manage a frustrating 11th on the grid around a circuit at which overtaking is notoriously difficult.
That proved the case throughout race one and the 23-year-old was sent tumbling out after an incident for his first none-score of the year, leaving him 30th on the grid for his next outing.
Ingram’s luck did not improve as another ambitious move caused sizable damage and another early bath, and it was a similar story in the third and final outing.
His misfortune cost the KX Akademy graduate and MSA Academy member his hard-earned championship lead, meaning he will travel to Croft in North Yorkshire next month sitting 25 points shy of the summit of the standings in third – albeit still atop the Independents’ Trophy table.
“When it’s not your day, it’s not your day, is it?” said Ingram afterwards. “The catalyst for it all was qualifying, and for that I can only blame myself. We were well down in the speed traps in all three sectors, and I overdrove in an effort to compensate.
“The second row of the grid was definitely on the cards, but I didn’t put the lap together and that left us right in the danger zone at the mercy of midfield squabbles and the less experienced drivers further back in the pack, for which we paid the price.
“The Speedworks boys worked their socks off to enable me to get out in race three, and to set the fastest lap – by quite some margin – proves the pace is in the car and what we could have accomplished had things gone to plan.
“At the same time, that gives us cause for encouragement because the Avensis seems to be working well wherever we go – the team has done an absolutely fantastic job with it – and we were at least handed a bit of a get-out-of-jail-free card at Oulton with a few of our main rivals having troubled weekends.
“Make no mistake, we’ll come back stronger at Croft – ready to fight tooth-and-nail to regain our lead!”