Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Tom Ingram was proud that he and his outfit’s positivity across the trio of British Touring Car Championship contests at Croft resulted in victory in the finale.
The 2018 runner-up had provisionally qualified on pole position for race one yesterday before failing the post-session ride height check, and being disqualified from the results which placed him at the back of the grid for the opening contest.
Ingram made considerable progress in race one to place 13th, but race two really defined his weekend with a fourth place result then giving him the opportunity to take victory in the final encounter.
Starting from the second row, Ingram’s Toyota Corolla immediately dispatched of Dan Cammish’s Toyota on the run down to Clervaux for the first time, before a brave move around the outside of erstwhile leader Tom Chilton at the high-speed Jim Clark Esses saw him take a lead he would never relinquish, even despite late-race pressure from Cammish.
After the race, Ingram admitted to ITV that the results across the trio of races “surprised” him, but believes the positive mentality of himself and the Speedworks Motorsport-run outfit enabled him to turn a disastrous Saturday into a victorious Sunday.
“I think the day has surprised us, from starting back in Darlington this morning to finishing race three with a win!
“I’m so, so happy and it just goes to show that you can never ever get your head down in touring cars, the day can turn around and you’ve just got to stay positive because it’s amazing what you can drag back from seemingly nowhere,” said Ingram.
“I’m so pleased with how we’ve done as a team today because we’ve kept positive, we’ve kept our chin up and we’ve just focussed towards race three of trying to bag big points in the third race.”
Ingram believes his strong start to get clear of Cammish into the first corner was crucial to his result, and again explained the confidence he has in the opening laps to “attack” compared to his opposition as the field build temperature in their Goodyear rubber.
“It was super important, Dan [Cammish] is world class with his race craft, so he’s such a tricky lad to get past at the best of times so I knew that he was going to be super fast,” he said.
“I knew Tom [Chilton] was going to be super fast and really it was going to be those opening few laps where I really enjoy the car moving around and dancing around underneath me, that was going to be when I could attack.”
With the lead gap closing down dramatically in the final laps, Ingram explained that a vibration on the right-front tyre meant he was keen to stroke the Corlla home, even with Cammish coming “like a freight train” in his mirrors in the final laps.
“I had a massive vibration on my right-front, so from about lap five, I had this enormous vibration through the car and I was just thinking of it turning out like Silverstone race two all over again,” explained Ingram.
“So I was counting each lap down, counting each corner down corner by corner. Spencer came over the radio to say nine laps to go and those nine laps felt like about nine hundred laps!
“I was so pleased to get to the end, I could see Dan was coming at me – again, like we’ve had for the last few weekends, like a freight train – so to recover it from where we did is a huge credit to everyone in the team, and I just cannot say thank you enough to everyone at home for all of their support.”
The next round of the 2020 British Touring Car Championship will take place at Snetterton on the weekend of the 24-25 October.