Tom Ingram feels four wins for new Corolla has ‘surpassed expectations’ in...

Tom Ingram feels four wins for new Corolla has ‘surpassed expectations’ in first season

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Tom Ingram believes the four British Touring Car Championship victories he has secured in the new-for-2019 Toyota Corolla has “surpassed expectations” in what was originally intended as a development season.

The Team Toyota GB racer secured the first of those in race three at Donington Park, with the second coming at Snetterton where he converted pole to victory in the opening contest.

After doubling his win tally at Silverstone in what he described as “a hell of a day,” Ingram told TouringCars.Net he believes he has exceeded expectations this year in terms of race wins, but admits more podiums off the top step would have been welcome.

“I think in terms of a number of wins, we’ve surpassed expectations. We’d have liked to have had more podiums,” said Ingram.

“When you look at it we’ve had four wins and no podiums which is quite funny, it’s the definition of shit or champagne or whatever it is!

“It’s quite funny, but I think we’ve really turned a corner over the last few race weekends and I think we’re in a real exciting position now moving forwards.”

The 2018 runner-up now sits fifth in the championship standings and within mathematical contention of the title heading into the season finale at Brands Hatch, a feat he feels the squad can feel “really proud” of given this season’s intended purpose was to develop the car with the real impetus on next season.

“We’re there statistically, maybe not realistically,” he said.

“It’s great that we’ve been able to improve the car in the second half of the season and get back into contention.

“Top five in the championship which is really surprising and really something we can actually be quite proud of.

“We’re just slowly getting on with it and apart from this weekend we haven’t had any other hugely standout weekend.

“We’ve just been quietly been quietly going about it and that’s been the key to this season.

“It’s next year which is super important to us.”

After his back-to-back victories in mixed conditions on the 1.63-mile National layout, Ingram suffered contact in the final race which dropped him out of contention.

“Obviously difficult with the conditions and we picked up contact in the early laps so we had a heavy hit from either Chilton or Jackson,” Ingram said.

“It broke the right-rear toe-link and we obviously came in at the end of the lap and we thought if we could get it fixed then we might as well stick some slicks on and treat it as a test session.

“The car felt really good actually, and it was the first real time we’ve had a chance to play with it in the wet which was good, it’s all good data for us.

“It’s taught us quite a lot about the car which is really good. Aside from that, two wins today, I’m more than happy with that.

“It was a hell of a day, a hell of a day.”