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Tom Ingram hails ‘superb’ debut weekend

Tom Ingram was thrilled with his opening weekend in the British Touring Car Championship, despite ending the third race in the barrier.

Having qualified in a sensational sixth place, Ingram kept his cool to finish ninth in both race one and two, with the later becoming eighth after Aron Smith’s demotion.

But there was no fairy-tale ending to the weekend for the youngster, as his participation in race three was brought to an abrupt end after he appeared to receive a tap from behind from Alain Menu, sending him into the barrier.

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Despite the contact, Ingram was pleased with his pace across the weekend, and saw no reason that would stop him from maintaining that level of performance at Donington Park.

“Yes – a superb weekend,” said Ingram to TouringCars.Net. “We said at the start of the weekend two top ten [finishes] were well beyond our wildest imaginations and to get sixth in qualifying was a dream come true to be perfectly honest.

“It didn’t quite end the way we wanted it to but that’s racing isn’t it?”

“I see no reason why not!” said the 20-year-old, when asked if he could continue his form.

The Speedworks driver was asked to visit the stewards room after the incident, but remained defiant that he was not to blame.

“Alain’s got his views, I’ve got mine but I moved across to defend my line, Alain then caught my back bumper and it all went from there.”

Ingram was comfortably the fastest of the rookie drivers in the field, but believed it meant little in real terms despite the confidence his speed brought.

“It’s obviously a big thing that we can take away is that of all the new guys in the championship we’re at the head of that.

“At the same time, you don’t get a trophy for that and you don’t really get much else from it – it’s more bragging rights than anything else but it was a positive weekend and unfortunately it feels like it’s just had a bit of a downer put on it at the end.”

Despite the nature of the impact that ended his race, the Ginetta graduate had no fears that his car would be able to be repaired, with the second round of the season at Donington Park three weeks away.

“It shouldn’t be too bad,” said Ingram. “There’s a little bit of damage to the rear bumper but that’s the good thing with these BTCC cars is that they all have panels that screw into other panels and bits that screw to other bits so it shouldn’t – fingers crossed – be too big.

“I’ve no doubt my Speedworks boys can put it back and it’ll be gleaming and ready for Donington.”

Photo by Andrew Soul/

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