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Tom Ingram aiming to ‘claw some points back’ in standings with front row start

Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Tom Ingram is hoping he can “claw some points back” in the championship standings after qualifying on the front row for the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Silvertone.

The 2018 runner-up enjoyed competitive pace in his Toyota Corolla across the pair of practice sessions, placing second and fourth respectively before managing second again when it came to qualifying.

It was far-from-straightforward for Ingram, though, after having his best time removed for a track limits infringement, dropping him outside of the top ten before he ultimately improved to second in the dying minutes of the session.

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Speaking to ITV after the half-hour session, Ingram admitted he had been struggling to “get into the sweet spot” of the Corolla and hopes he can reach a setup which is more “Thruxton-esque” for the trio of races tomorrow.

“Far too late for my liking! If I’m honest I felt like we were slightly struggling throughout that session and it just seemed to take too long to get into the sweet spot of the car,” said Ingram.

“Throughout free practice one and free practice two the car has felt really good, maybe we should have changed a bit more going into qualifying because it just felt a little bit too safe for my liking.

“It wasn’t Thruxton-esque enough which unfortunately is how I quite like the car to be set up, especially around here as well.”

Commenting on the lap time that got removed, Ingram admitted that it’s necessary to “try your luck” since the margins are so fine around the 1.6-mile National layout.

“We’ve all done it, you’ve got to try your luck. You’ve got to push the boundaries and see if it’s enough to get away with it,” he said.

“Obviously I was over track limits, so they did the right thing and took my lap off me. But it did put a little bit of pressure on towards the end and I was mindful that I’ve got a quick car and I’ve got to extract the very most from it.

“Even on new tyres we’re still lacking a little bit but I think we’re going to be in good shape for tomorrow, I think we’ve got a very very good race car.”

Ingram, who currently sits third in the standings some 32 points adrift of leader Ash Sutton, is encouraged by the winning record he holds around Silverstone as he hopes to close the deficit in the standings.

“It really is encouraging, because we’ve had a win here since 2016 I think it was, so we’ve won here every single year.

“Last year we had two wins so it’s a circuit that’s served us very well over the years, and hopefully that will continue into tomorrow and we can keep that record going and try to claw the points back against Colin [Turkington] and Ash [Sutton].

“That’s really the goal for tomorrow is to try and claw some points back on those guys.”

The opening British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend is scheduled to get underway tomorrow at 11:27 BST.

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