Tom Ingram was delighted to secure his first win with the Excelr8 Motorsport team in the final British Touring Car Championship race at Snetterton, moving the Hyundai driver to just two points from the top of the standings.
Ingram started the final race of the day in Norfolk from fourth on the grid, and the 28-year-old passed the BMW of Stephen Jelley for the lead of the race on lap five, having worked his way into contention and avoided the incidents of others ahead of him on the road in the process.
The 17-time race winner then opened up a sufficient gap to the cars behind him to hold on to claim his first win of the season and the first for Suffolk-based Excelr8 and their Hyundai i30 N Fastback.
“It’s amazing,” said Ingram. “It’s not my first win, we’ve got a few on the tally now, but this feels so, so special.
“To have got the first weekend out of the way at Thruxton and it go really well, and then to come to the second weekend and get a second, a fourth and then a win in the last race, is amazing.
“I honestly can’t say just what an amazing job everyone at Excelr8 Motorsport has done, they’ve put an insanely good car under me.
“I’ve got to say a massive thank you to Spencer [Aldridge, race engineer], he’s put an amazing car under me all weekend, so it’s felt pretty special.
“I know how much it means to everybody. Of course, it means everything to me because I’m the one that’s getting to be roasted and drive the car around, but for everyone in the garage it’s such a special feeling to share it.
“I’m so pleased we’ve been able to do it and it’s a really, really special feeling. It was so nice to wave to some fans on the way in so it’s just absolutely fantastic.”
Ingram explained that he believes the car is ‘completely different’ to the Toyota Corolla which he raced with Speedworks in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
“You could see the good bits about this car [last year] – there were lots of them – and Spencer and I have just been able to refine all the bits and pieces that we’ve learnt over the years with the Toyotas and just kind of refine a bit of an in between package.
“Everyone will have just said ‘that’s just a Toyota underneath, you’ve just done exactly what you’ve done on a Toyota’ and we absolutely haven’t.
“Yes, the stickers look very similar, but actually underneath it’s a completely different philosophy with where we’ve gone set-up wise.
“It’s great to be able to go down a completely different path and make a car that is both easier to drive and quicker to drive so it’s exciting and hopefully the start of many.”
Ingram leaves Snetterton second overall in the drivers’ standings with 78 points, two behind leader Ash Sutton.