Tom Ingram endured a ‘hard, hard’ race to claim his second successive second in the British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton, as the Toyota driver fought tooth-and-nail to hold on to his position.
Ingram had started from the front row after taking second earlier in the day in race one, and the Speedworks Motorsport driver ran behind leader Colin Turkington for the race distance.
But Ingram had to fend off a persistent challenge from Motorbase Performance’s Rory Butcher for the position, until the Scot drove into him at the second corner on the last lap.
Pushing Ingram off-line, the 27-year-old then came under pressure from title rival Ash Sutton for the remainder of the lap.
“That caught me off guard; I’ve no idea what happened, but we had a fairly substantial knock in the rear,” said Ingram of his bump from Butcher at the end of the race. “But it was going to come – it was 14 laps of bumper-to-bumper action, so there’s a certain amount of inevitability.
“Every time you come into the hairpin and you’ve got a chain of, it felt like 175 cars behind me, you’re always waiting for the bump.
“I had two or three of them over the course of the race distance, but you always brace for them. It’s good to come out of it relatively unscathed, but it felt like a hard, hard race to keep that lot behind.”
Ingram had expected a challenge from Sutton as soon as he saw that the 2017 champion was behind him on the last lap.
“Ash is top class. We know he’s super aggressive and he’s always going to be one to stick his nose in. I’m always mindful of anyone on the last lap, because it’s always the last moment you’ve got to make a move.
“Ash has always been very strong on the last few laps, especially with rear-wheel drive as well – they’ve got a little bit more tyre performance left than us – so he was always going to come strong at the end.
“It felt hard work keeping Rory behind – he was so much faster in a straight line. I felt like I could get him through the middle part of the corner and then watch him drag up to the back of me.
“I felt like I was stood under a fruit tree with apples coming at me – I couldn’t really get away from them, wherever I stood there was another one coming at me!”