An elated Tom Ingram claimed his first Independents’ title in the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, scooping the Independent Drivers’ crown with a race to spare.
The Speedworks Motorsport driver went into the race needing just one point to seal the accolade, with main rival Jack Goff having thrown away any chance of a strong result in the first race.
In the end, Ingram took the chequered flag in sixth, securing points as the third-best independent when he only needed a single point to take the title.
The title is Ingram’s first in any classification since joining the BTCC at the start of the 2014 season.
“It’s a great reward for these boys, because they worked bloody hard for it,” said Ingram to TouringCars.Net. “I just tried to play it super safe in that one to get to the end without too many dramas.
“I knew we had a little bit more pace in it, but at the same time I just wanted to get to the end. We just needed to get to the end without too many risks and we knew we’d pick up the title.”
Ingram’s focus in the final race turns to securing third in the overall drivers’ championship standings, which he has lost after Gordon Shedden took second in the race to edge a point ahead of Ingram.
“I’m annoyed that Shedden managed to nip us and he’s a point ahead of us now, but it will be what it will be and if we can get him in [the final race] then happy days. It will be interesting to see what will happen with the weather; I think it will make it a bit unpredictable.
“The Independents title is the main thing – third now will be a bonus. If we can top it off with that, it will be the cherry on top. This weekend was all about the Independent Drivers’ and the Independent Teams’ titles.”
Ingram admitted that he had little time to make life difficult for eventual race winner Colin Turkington, who got past the Toyota driver on lap ten.
“Colin caught up very, very quickly and he got his nose alongside very early. At that point the move was done, so I couldn’t make it very hard. It was just a case of getting to the end, trying to stay ahead of the Eurotech lads, and seeing where it puts us.”