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Tom Ingram: ‘I see no reason why Croft shouldn’t suit us’

Tom Ingram says that he sees ‘no reason’ why Croft shouldn’t suit his Toyota Corolla in this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship races in Yorkshire, despite the circuit traditionally favouring rear-wheel drive.

Speedworks Motorsport’s Ingram heads to the fourth event of the season lying sixth overall in the drivers’ championship standings, having scored points in all nine races so far, cracking the top ten on seven of those occasions.

Despite the circuit being a strong one for Ingram’s BMW and Subaru rivals, the Toyota racer still has a strong record at Croft, having taken two podium finishes last year, including second in race two, as well as also visiting the rostrum two years beforehand.

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“I love Croft; as a circuit, it invariably generates exciting racing and there’s always a warm welcome when the BTCC rolls into town,” said Ingram.

“I think we can confidently predict that it’s going to suit the rear wheel-drive lads, but we performed very well there last year, so we’re definitely looking forward to going back to see what we can achieve with the new Corolla.

“There’s been some pretty major resurfacing work at Croft in the meantime, so it will be interesting to discover how that affects everything and if it swings the pendulum any more towards the front wheel-drive cars.

“Nobody has driven on it yet so there is no real information to go on, but hopefully it will be a little grippier than before.

“Overall, we’ve had a very positive, solid start to the season and we’re understanding the Corolla more every time we take to the track.

“We’re moving in the right direction and going to Croft, I think we’re in good shape. I see no reason why the circuit shouldn’t suit us again, so hopefully we can push on and keep this points-scoring run intact.”

Speedworks Team Principal Christian Dick is hoping for dry weather to return to the circuit in time for the weekend, after a wet week in the run-up to the event.

“Croft is very much an all-round challenge, which means you have to try to make your package work in every scenario and for all types of corner,” explained Dick.

“That was something at which the Avensis always excelled, and although it is still very early days in its development, all the signs are that the Corolla is heading in the same direction.

“This weekend will actually represent a double step into the unknown for us, with not only a new car to dial into the circuit but also a resurfaced track to get to grips with.

“Hopefully we’ll have a clean run weather-wise on Saturday to get a proper handle on everything before race day.

“Whilst it’s true that Croft has historically tended to favour rear wheel-drive machinery, we’ve gone well there in recent years and last season in particular was a belter, with two podiums out of three.

“We’ve got to be aiming to be the best front wheel-drive car again, so with that in mind, the goal is to continue taking steps forward and refining the Corolla while scoring as many points as possible to keep our title bid on-track.”

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