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Tom Ingram ‘wins his class’ at Snetterton

Excelr8 Motorsport’s Tom Ingram has described his podium finishes in Snetterton’s British Touring Car Championship races as ‘Class B’ wins after he struggled to match the pace of the rear-wheel drive BMWs.

Ingram, racing a front-wheel drive Hyundai, had been fastest of all in the cooler first practice session on Saturday but qualified in fourth for Sunday’s opening race, 0.344 seconds from pole, although that would later become third when one of the BMWs ahead was penalised.

In the opening encounter, Ingram tried to take the fight to Colin Turkington and Jake Hill at the start, but the BMWs soon had their tyre temperatures up and his attention then turned to defending his place from the other BMWs of Adam Morgan and Stephen Jelley.

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Ingram ultimately took third, and followed it up with another third in race two – despite being glued to the rear bumper of Hill and Turkington as they duelled over the opening lap of the second race.

Ingram started from seventh on the grid for the final race, jumping up to fifth at the start. He then overtook Team Dynamics’ Daniel Rowbottom for fourth at the Bomb Hole on lap five, following the Toyota of Ricky Collard through.

Trying to end his weekend with another podium, Ingram passed Collard for the place at Agostini on the last lap, before Collard elbowed his way back through two corners later.

The stewards later decided Collard had been too forceful and penalised him, giving Ingram another podium place to cap off his weekend.

Ingram described his results as like winning a separate class, even though the BTCC does not place front and rear-wheel drive cars into separate divisions.

“I think we did the best job possible over the weekend, to be honest,” said Ingram, who remains second overall in the drivers’ standings. “I don’t really feel we could have expected much more given the pace of the rear wheel-drive cars.

“The BMWs were incredibly fast again – so much so that Adam ran into the back of me at one stage purely from the extra cornering speed he was able to carry!

“We tried to take the fight to them, but being realistic, it was never really on so we unfortunately had to admit defeat and simply focus on our own game.

“I’ve got to say, the Hyundai felt fantastic throughout and we were well-placed in third on the grid – but whereas normally, the first few laps are our best opportunity to attack the rear wheel-drive guys while they bring their front tyres up to temperature, when it’s as hot as it was, that opportunity disappears so we knew we were going to be on the back foot.

“With that in mind, I was aiming for what I would call a ‘pointsy’ day, and that’s exactly what we achieved.

“It was fairly heavy-going in race one, especially having to keep checking in my mirrors, but it was good to finish on the podium and then race two was virtually copy-and-paste.

“We clearly didn’t have the pace to match the BMWs, but we won ‘Class B’ again. Obviously, we want to be winning ‘Class A’ as well, but that’s pretty difficult at the moment.

“I was pleased to claw back some points on Colin in race three at least, and we’re still very much in the hunt with some circuits coming up that should definitely play to our strengths.

“The whole team has worked so hard, and the car just feels phenomenal – I really can’t ask for it to do any more than it’s currently doing.

“We’re right up at the sharp end weekend-in, weekend-out and scoring consistently well, so this isn’t over by any means…”

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