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Tom Ingram frustrated to retire ‘when the car felt good’

Tom Ingram was frustrated to have retired from the final British Touring Car Championship race at Oulton Park, after taking avoiding action when Jake Hill and Matt Neal collided immediately in front.

Ingram had been challenging for a podium position in the reversed grid race, running behind Hill, Neal and Jason Plato, when chaos kicked off ahead of him on the road.

Hill touched the rear of Neal’s car, sending the Honda spinning in front of the field on the exit of Turn 1, with Ingram forced to take evasive action onto the grass.

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The off-track excursion at speed caused race-ending damage to his Toyota Corolla, forcing the Speedworks driver to stop and meaning his weekend ended with two top ten finishes in seventh and eighth earlier in the day.

“We were a passenger in the whole thing,” said Ingram to TouringCars.Net. “When Jake had spun Matt, Matt came back on the track right into the path of Jason and I, so we kind of were limited in our options of where to avoid him.

“Obviously Jason and I went left and in doing so that took both of us out of the race because we ended up bottoming out – I think Jason did damage to the front of his and we did damage to the front of ours.

“In the whole situation, the only contact was between Jake and Matt in all the chaos that ensued afterwards.

“There was nowhere I could have gone – I was a passenger.”

Ingram was particularly frustrated as he had hoped to take a strong result from race three, having identified it as his best chance of a strong result.

“It’s just frustrating because the car felt good. Unfortunately, it always happens that you never get taken out when the car is feeling shit, you always get taken out when the car is feeling great!

“It was the same again at Croft – we had planned the weekend to be strong towards the third race. It’s frustrating when it gets ended like that.

“It’s nobody’s fault but the two guys at the front, and unfortunately that kind of spiralled back and affected our race. It’s one of those.”

Ingram, who is now ninth overall in the drivers’ standings, says that there are further improvements to be made to the new-for-2019 Corolla, saying that the car felt the best it has all year at the Cheshire circuit.

“To go with the positives, we’ve improved the car this weekend. It’s felt better – it’s actually the most alive it’s felt in terms of a race pace.

“In the second race the car felt superb and we were in a good place to be able to attack. It’s the first time I’ve felt like we’ve been able to attack as well, which is encouraging as it means we’re moving in the right direction.

“Being realistic about the whole thing, there’s a number of milestones that we’ve ticked off, and the car is improving every weekend we come out.

“We are still lacking in a number of areas, but we know where they are. It’s just going to take us a little bit of time to sort those.”

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