Tom Ingram gets back to winning ways with a decisive victory in the opening race of the British Touring Car Championship weekend at Oulton Park.
The Exceler8 Motorsport driver led from start to finish and managed an early safety car period to finish more than three seconds clear of the rest of the field.
Ash Sutton took his fourth consecutive podium finish in second, while Josh Cook climbed up from tenth on the grid to finish eighth.
Ingram came under pressure from Speedworks Toyota driver Rory Butcher off the line, but it didn’t take him long to shake the rest of the field. He had extended the gap to a second in a matter of laps and was making good progress when a spin for Adam Morgan brought out the safety car.
The Ciceley Motorsport driver had been running fourth and defending against a charging Gordon Shedden when the pair made slight contact on the exit of Lodge Corner. Morgan was turned into the barriers on the approach to the pitlane, whilst Shedden emerged unscathed in his Honda.
The safety car, deployed due to the incident, brought Butcher back onto Ingram’s tail, but Butcher couldn’t stick with him on the restart.
Instead, it was a quiet remainder of the race for Ingram. He came home 3.370s ahead of second place to earn his first victory at Oulton Park.
Meanwhile, the battle for second was much more dynamic. Dan Lloyd, running in third early on in his Excelr8 Hyundai, couldn’t hold off the charging Sutton, who came through into second at Hislop’s when Lloyd opened the door after pressuring Butcher.
Shedden followed him past the following lap at the hairpin and both he and Sutton made quick work closing the gap to Butcher, but passing the Toyota was another matter.
Butcher defended well, aided by the fact yellow flags were brought out at a key overtaking place after Ash Hand came to a stop just off track when his brakes caught fire.
Hand’s stranded car didn’t bring out the safety car, though, and Sutton and Shedden eventually found a way past Butcher on the same lap.
Sutton broke away from Shedden to finish 1.794s ahead of the Team Dynamics driver.
UPDATE: Shedden was later handed a post-race three-place penalty for the contact with Morgan, dropping him to sixth and affecting his race two starting position.
The BMW of Colin Turkington was the last to try to challenge Butcher. Turkington spent most of the race battling with Dan Cammish before finally putting the NAPA Racing driver behind him. He closed the gap to Butcher in the closing stages of the race and was side by side as they took the chequered flag, but was just 0.1s back at the finish line.
Cammish took sixth ahead of Lloyd, who dropped back early in the race and was unable to recover, although he did post the fastest lap.
BTC Racing’s Josh Cook climbed up to eighth ahead of Dan Rowbottom, while Ricky Collard completed the top ten with the best result of his season.
BMW’s Stephen Jelley won a three way battle for 11th, finishing just ahead of Aiden Moffat and Jake Hill. Michael Crees and Bobby Thompson were the last of the points finishers.
Race two is scheduled to get underway at 14:25 BST.
Revised* race result
|1||80||M||Tom INGRAM||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||18||28:03.964||1:26.422||1|
|2||1||M||Ashley SUTTON||NAPA Racing UK||Ford Focus ST||18||3.370||1:26.405||5|
|3||6||M||Rory BUTCHER||Toyota GAZOO Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||18||7.207||1:26.587||2|
|4||50||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330e M Sport||18||7.307||1:26.639||9|
|5||9||M||Dan CAMMISH||NAPA Racing UK||Ford Focus ST||18||8.248||1:26.623||7|
|6||52||M||Gordon SHEDDEN*||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type R||18||5.164||1:26.297||8|
|7||123||M||Daniel LLOYD||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||18||8.499||1:26.279||3|
|8||66||I||Josh COOK||Rich Energy BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||18||8.767||1:26.718||10|
|9||32||M||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type R||18||9.261||1:26.753||6|
|10||21||M||Ricky COLLARD||Toyota GAZOO Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||18||9.836||1:26.883||11|
|11||12||M||Stephen JELLEY||Team BMW||BMW 330e M Sport||18||10.020||1:26.868||12|
|12||16||I||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||18||10.633||1:26.904||17|
|13||24||M||Jake HILL||ROKiT MB Motorsport||BMW 330e M Sport||18||11.434||1:27.327||15|
|14||777||I||Michael CREES||CarStore Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||18||16.644||1:27.428||20|
|15||19||I||Bobby THOMPSON||Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero||CUPRA Leon||18||17.644||1:27.223||19|
|16||40||I||Árón TAYLOR-SMITH||Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing||CUPRA Leon||18||17.870||1:27.695||25|
|17||11||I||Jason PLATO||Rich Energy BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||18||19.419||1:27.828||14|
|18||42||I||George GAMBLE||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330e M Sport||18||19.676||1:27.284||13|
|19||77||M||Sam OSBORNE||Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan||Ford Focus ST||18||21.109||1:27.010||16|
|20||48||M||Ollie JACKSON||Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan||Ford Focus ST||18||23.795||1:28.007||18|
|21||99||I||Jade EDWARDS||Rich Energy BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||18||24.627||1:27.599||24|
|22||28||I||Nicolas HAMILTON||Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing||CUPRA Leon||18||29.832||1:27.881||27|
|23||17||I||Dexter PATTERSON||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||18||29.954||1:27.622||22|
|24||96||M||Jack BUTEL||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||18||33.409||1:28.060||26|
|25||62||I||Rick PARFITT JR||Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing||Infiniti Q50||18||1:22.844||1:28.583||29|
|R||20||I||Will POWELL||Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero||CUPRA Leon||15||DNF||1:27.699||28|
|R||97||I||Ash HAND||CarStore Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||10||DNF||1:27.458||21|
|R||3||M||Tom CHILTON||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||4||DNF||1:27.270||23|
|R||33||I||Adam MORGAN||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330e M Sport||3||DNF||1:26.304||4|