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Tom Ingram preparing for ‘adopted home race’ with Toyota

Tom Ingram is preparing for the ‘adopted home race’ for Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, as the Speedworks Motorsport-run squad will race in front of 4,500 members of Toyota Manufacturing UK at Donington Park.

Although Speedworks are themselves Cheshire-based, with additional backing from Derby-based Toyota this year, the event at Donington Park will effectively become a home race for the manufacturer-backed team.

Toyota has invited numerous members and families to the second round of the British Touring Car Championship, hoping to witness Ingram perform well.

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Indeed, Ingram has strong form at the East Midlands circuit, having won there for the past two years. In 2018 Ingram maintained a lead of the drivers’ championship at the circuit, whilst in 2017 he moved to the top of the points after a strong weekend at Donington.

“Donington is going to end up being our adopted home circuit,” said Ingram. “Speedworks has historically counted Oulton Park as ‘home ground’, but with our Team Toyota GB backing and 4,500 employees and their families coming to watch us from TMUK, that’s all about to change!

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to have that many people coming out to support us and it’ll be an invaluable help, I’m sure.

“I can’t recall anything on quite this scale before, and it’s an absolute honour and privilege for me and all the Speedworks crew that will be working away in the pit garage throughout the weekend. It does add a little ratchet of pressure, but it’s more exciting than anything else.”

Ingram has tested the new Corolla already at Donington Park, and he admits that the feeling he got has given him extra confidence for one of his form circuits.

“We tested at Donington last month and I have to say, that was probably the best the car felt anywhere pre-season. Its layout suits the strengths of the new Corolla – the car is incredible on the brakes, which is a key attribute there, and it’s fantastically-balanced through the mid-speed corners which should similarly play into our hands.

“I think we can be in the mix. We’re light on ballast which will help in qualifying and race one, so I’m hopeful a strong result is on the cards – especially with all eyes on us and the Team Toyota GB flags flying!”

Speedworks Team Principal Christian Dick  believes that the car will perform well with success ballast on board, even though Ingram will head into the first race of the weekend relatively light, with just 6 kg, for being tenth overall in the drivers’ standings.

“In preparation for the race weekend, we tested at Thruxton last week alongside all the other BTCC teams, which went very well,” said Dick. “We ran with ballast in the morning and Tom was still able to lap third-quickest, which was obviously encouraging.

“We were satisfied with that, so we then spent the afternoon session experimenting with different set-ups rather than chasing lap times and I think it’s fair to say we learnt a lot.

“It was extremely difficult to draw any conclusions from Brands Hatch because the weather was just so changeable, but we have gone well at Donington before and I see no reason why we shouldn’t be firmly in contention again in all three races.”

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