Tom Ingram was relieved to leave Oulton Park with a trio of points finishes in the British Touring Car Championship, with the results being significantly better than his disastrous weekend at the circuit just one year previously.
Ingram scored a trio of top 15 finishes to take 18 points away from Sunday’s three races – a big improvement on the one point that the Speedworks Motorsport driver secured in Cheshire last year.
Having qualified in 17th with 57 kg of success ballast, Ingram made little ground in the first race and took the chequered flag in 15th.
Race two saw Ingram make further progress from 15th on the grid to tenth by the end, whilst race three saw a further gain of four places to take the 24-year-old to sixth by the end of the race.
“At least it was much better than last year!” said Ingram. “Saying that, there was a fair bit of head-scratching going on after qualifying.
“We knew we weren’t going to be fighting for pole position, but we were hoping to be somewhere inside the top ten. We had good pace in FP1, but then we never went any quicker and in such a close session, that really hurt us.
“Oulton Park is the worst place all season to start down the grid; as soon as you’re outside the top ten there, you can pretty much kiss your weekend goodbye in terms of grabbing any strong results.
“The positive is that we moved forward in all three races. We snatched a point in race one even with the weight, and in race two, the Avensis truly came alive on the soft tyres.
“We had a lot of pace – as the fastest lap proved – but being stuck in a traffic jam like we were, there was nothing we could really do with it. Our goal was to get into the top 12 to give ourselves a chance in the reversed grid draw, and we successfully achieved that.
“Race three then opened up towards the end, and I got my elbows out and grabbed every opportunity I saw.”
Ingram leaves the Cheshire circuit fourth overall in the drivers’ championship standings and marginally closer to the top of the table – 21 points adrift – than at the equivalent stage last year, when he was 25 points from the top.
“Ultimately, we salvaged as much as we could from the weekend and we didn’t lose out too much points-wise.
“We’re still right up there and will carry a bit less weight with us to Croft, which is a circuit I love. I’m confident we’ll be in good shape, so let’s see if we can claw back some ground…”