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Tom Ingram with work to do after difficult qualifying

Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram admits that it is a case of ‘what could have been’ after qualifying for the British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham, with the Toyota driver posting the 12th fastest time.

Ingram qualified outside the top ten for the second consecutive meeting, despite having been sixth and fourth fastest in first and second practice respectively.

Speaking to TouringCars.Net after the session, the 21-year-old admitted that he was disappointed not to have gone better around one of his favourite circuits.

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“It was a case of what could have been, really,” admitted Ingram. “We had really good pace in FP1 and FP2 and unfortunately I couldn’t get quite enough out of it in qualifying. We’re down in 12th which is not ideal but funnily enough we always seem to go better once we’ve had a bad qualifying session!”

Ingram says that he and the team need to do more work on his car, despite the fact that the Avensis is now a seasoned campaigner in the BTCC.

“We still need to do work on it [the car]. We’ve moved forwards from where we started with it but there’s still work to come. Looking after the tyres is going to be the big thing that we struggle with.”

On the topic of tyre management, Ingram expects the rear-wheel drive cars surrounding him to be hard to contain. Ingram has Rob Austin, Nick Foster and Rob Collard all within four positions behind him on the grid for race one.

“It’s going to be an interesting first few laps if nothing else,” added Ingram. “We know that they’re going to be strong in the race, so it’s going to be difficult to do anything to try and protect ourselves. We know that they pass off the line and we know that they’re stronger come the end of the race, so there’s only so much that we can do.”

Having impressed so far in 2014, Ingram feels that a maiden BTCC podium is close, although he was quick to point out that despite having run high up in races that his best finishing position so far is a trio of seventh placed finishes.

“I can’t think that it [a first podium] can be far away,” he said. “Every weekend we turn up and we find a little bit here, a little bit there and I get a little bit more confident in the car. So every weekend that goes by we’re finding something to help us. That said, we’ve still got a long way to go and we know that the BTCC is probably one of the hardest championships in the world.

“At the minute I’m happy with how we’re doing but of course, it would be absolutely ideal to try and jump on [the podium]. But we’ve got to be very realistic and think that it’s a tough ask to get there. My best finishing position has only been about seventh this year, anyway.

“It’s difficult because we’re qualifying really well, but we’re struggling over a race distance and other people are moving forwards. It will come – we still have a bit more work to do but we’re moving in the right direction.”

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