Tom Ingram says Corolla felt ‘really good’ despite high-speed slides in qualifying

Tom Ingram says Corolla felt ‘really good’ despite high-speed slides in qualifying

Photo: PSP Images

Team Toyota GB’s Tom Ingram says his Toyota Corolla felt “really good” in qualifying for the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Silverstone despite high-speed slides which nearly ended his session in the barrier.

The 2018 runner-up has two wins to his name this season in the new-for-2019 Corolla, and placed fourth in qualifying for race one at Silverstone, setting his best time before a half-spin on the exit of the fast Copse corner nearly ended in contact with the barrier.

He told TouringCars.Net it wasn’t an issue with car setup, but rather trying to extract the maximum due to the fine margins around the 1.63-mile National layout, which saw the top 28 cars qualify within a second of pole.

“There were some fairly entertaining moments! You know what, everyone is coming up to me today and saying, ‘That looked like a handful’ – but it wasn’t!

“The car felt really good I was just pushing,” said Ingram. “When the margins are so tight you’ve just got to try to find any advantage where possible and you’ve got to make sure you’re not leaving anything on the table.

“What’s the expression? You can’t make a cake without baking some eggs or something!

“It’s hard work but you’ve got to try to get everything out of it and you’ve got to take some big risks for that at the same time.

“Around here, when it does go wrong, it’s fairly high speed. A couple of big moments but that’s all part of it.”

After a wet-but-drying morning at Silverstone, Ingram believes the tyre choice for race one will be a “last minute call” as to whether to go onto slicks or wets.

“This is odd because we’re due rain now and we’ve got bright sunshine, so who knows?

“If we had a crystal ball we’d all be around it at the moment. So we don’t know is the honest answer.

“I’ll go slicks whatever goes on! It’s going to be a last minute call if the weather stays how it is.”

Currently sitting sixth in the standings and not directly in the championship fight, Ingram says his focus is to take points off Rory Butcher who sits fifth in the Drivers’ Championship.

“You always want to be up the front and within the top five because it should hopefully make your weekend a little bit better,” he said.

“But also in the back of my mind I’m trying to get forward in the championship as well, I’d like to try to get a big haul of points.

“I want to outscore [Rory] Butcher and take a big amount of points off him and try to break into the top five.

“We’re in a good place at the moment for a good result, we’re just at the mercy of the Gods with the weather.”

The opening British Touring Car Championship race at Silverstone is set to get underway at 12:00 BST.