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Tom Ingram ‘fired up’ for Knockhill after ‘downcast’ Oulton

After a disappointing weekend in the British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park last weekend, Tom Ingram is ‘fired up’ to take on Knockhill this weekend for the fourth BTCC event of the month.

The Speedworks Motorsport driver had a sub-par qualifying at Oulton following contact from a rival, putting his Toyota in 14th for race one after ending up over eight tenths of a second off the pace.

Although Ingram then fought through the field in race one to take sixth, followed by fifth in race two, he failed to even take the start in race three when a driveshaft failed on the warm-up lap.

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The 27-year-old admitted that his mixed results and lack of a podium, despite being the fastest driver in wet conditions in race one, had left him downbeat leaving the Cheshire circuit.

“I felt pretty downcast leaving Oulton Park,” said Ingram. “We should have qualified inside the top four, which would have completely altered our weekend as we definitely had the pace to fight for the podium in the races.

“Looking on the positive side, though, Oulton wasn’t the best circuit for us last year, so to be as fast as we were clearly demonstrated the progress we have made with the Toyota since then.

“As disappointing as the outcome ultimately was, we immediately resolved to file it as a distant memory and focus on fighting back.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s fourth race weekend of the season, Ingram is in a more upbeat mood, citing pace shown in recent testing around the Scottish circuit.

Ingram tasted victory at Knockhill in 2017 when he was in the Toyota Avensis, whilst last year on the first appearance of the Toyota Corolla at the circuit Ingram secured a trio of top ten results.

“I’m really fired-up for Knockhill, and we know we’re in a much better place with the car than we were last summer.

“The Corolla already felt stronger in our pre-season test at the track than it did there last year, so I’m feeling confident.

“Yes, we’ve had a couple of non-scores from the opening nine races which obviously isn’t ideal, but this is a long way from over yet.

“We’ve seen so far in 2020 how important qualifying is, and whilst it isn’t quite as difficult to overtake at Knockhill as at Oulton, it still isn’t easy.

“It’s a real rollercoaster ride of a lap, and it’s a challenge to get the car optimised for the mix of high-speed bumps and low-speed hairpins.

“Wet or dry, the racing is normally really close and exciting, so I’m sure it’s going to be another elbows-out weekend. Bring it on!”

Speedworks Team Principal Christian Dick is equally optimistic about the weekend ahead, with Ingram heading to the circuit lighter than last weekend by virtue of dropping from fourth to sixth in the drivers’ standings, and also with additional data from pre-season testing at the circuit.

“For the first time ever, we included Knockhill in our pre-season testing schedule this year, and it was a really encouraging day,” said Dick.

“The Corolla was already quick at the track 12 months ago, and we know that Tom is exceptional round there.

“We will arrive slightly lighter in terms of ballast, which should help in qualifying and race one, so our tails are definitely up.

“There’s such steadfast belief and positivity inside this team, because we know we’ve got a fast car with a fast driver behind the wheel and we have the best crew in the BTCC paddock working in the garage.

“There’s a long way to go yet, and I promise we will all be pushing harder than ever to close the gap and climb back up the leaderboard this weekend.”

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