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Tom Ingram believes Speedworks have made ‘quantum leap forward’

Tom Ingram was pleased to chalk up another podium finish at Thruxton last weekend, but lamented his poor luck that saw the former KX Academy member serve a penalty in race two before he was forced to retire from the third contest.

Despite the misfortune, Ingram believes that Speedworks Motorsport have made a ‘quantum leap forward’ to become regular front-runners, as opposed to last year where they were only able to sporadically demonstrate the true potential of the Toyota Avensis package in Ingram’s hands.

The start to this season is Ingram’s best so far in his fledgling career, with this being his third full campaign in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, as he claimed his first victory at the Brands Hatch opener before adding to it with podiums at both Donington Park and Thruxton.

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The net result is that Ingram sits 11th overall in the Drivers Championship, with two retirements and three non-scores the only factor causing him to sit 44 points adrift of joint standings leaders Matt Neal and Rob Collard.

Despite losing the lead in race one having started from pole position last weekend [7th-8th May] at Thruxton, Ingram kept a cool head through the resulting carnage and came across the line second, before a penalty for jumping the start curtailed his challenge in the second encounter. An alternator belt failure prevented Ingram from completing a charge through to the points in the final contest.
Despite the frustrating end to the weekend, Ingram was keen to focus on the positives to take away from the Hampshire venue, and paid tribute to the Avensis for the punishment it withstood in the first encounter.

“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,” he reasoned.

“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.”

He also gave his perspective on the jump-start in the second race, believing that he only moved a very marginal amount, but conceded the stewards were within their rights to award him the penalty. He also lamented his poor fortune in race three that scuppered a charge into the points.

“As we were waiting for the lights at the start of race two, I felt the car creep ever-so-slightly; I didn’t think it would warrant a penalty because it was extremely marginal, but I guess rules are rules,” commented Ingram.

“The Avensis was strong again in race three, and I could attack very easily. Circumstances were playing into our hands and we had caught the group battling for the podium when we were forced out, which was a shame as I was confident we could have capitalised on their squabbling to gain some more ground,”

“These things happen, but there were a lot of reasons for encouragement again and we just need to iron out the little issues and errors that keep holding us back. We’ve proved we are amongst the quickest in the field in both qualifying and race trim, rain or shine, which underscores just how far we have come over the winter as a team. 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!”

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