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Tom Ingram praises Speedworks environment for breakthrough form

Tom Ingram believes the working environment at Speedworks Motorsport is crucial to his continued form as the rising star prepares for a fourth consecutive British Touring Car Championship season with Christian Dick’s independent outfit.

Ingram claimed a maiden win at the series curtain raiser last April, edging out the Dynamics duo of eventual champion Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal, along with scoring the most consistent qualifying record in a capacity field boasting thirty-two entries, including pole positions at Brands Hatch and Thruxton.

A prominent member of the latest crop of emerging stars in the championship, Ingram has been widely tipped with a move to one of the series’ works outfits – particularly MG – since his debut campaign in 2014.

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Speaking to at the annual Autosport International Show at the NEC in Birmingham, the 23-year old emphasized the crucial role Speedworks play in allowing him the freedom to perform at an increasingly high level.

“What people I don’t think see is that I need to be at a team where I can have a bit of free reign in terms of sponsorship as well, because for me it’s not all self-funded, it is all through sponsorship.” explained Ingram.

“So I can’t go to a works team and be asked to bring a lot of money and be able to do that through sponsorship, because it’s just not the opportunity for me.”

He also pointed to the importance of graduating into a works drive in a sustainable manner, explaining his rationale that a works deal could prove potentially as detrimental in the long-term as it would be beneficial in the short-term.

“At Speedworks it’s fantastic because I can pretty much run it as my own team, we can have as many sponsors as we like and we can go racing that way. What people don’t see is yes, it would be lovely to get into a works team and I’m sure that in a works team we can do really well, but until I’m getting paid to do it, I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to go to a works team unless I get paid, which is where I think a lot of the others have gone wrong because they’ve tried to buy their way into it and it’s left them without a drive the following year, or the year after that.

“I’d rather that people can see what I’m capable of in a small team and think we can win the championship, and I think that if you threw me in one of the Dynamics cars that I’d be right up there and I’d be matching Flash [Gordon Shedden] – I’d be right on the pace with him. It’s just people perceptions of it, but that’ll never change.

“I’m more than happy with where we are, but at the same time, we’re doing a bloody good job with what we’ve got – we can be right up there with those guys with the resources and the funding that we do have.”

Ingram and Speedworks are set to head to Portimao in Portugal during February to begin their pre-season preparations ahead of a season in which the team are targeting Independents title glory.

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