Tom Ingram says he is in a ‘nice place’ heading to the British Touring Car Championship season finale at Brands Hatch next month, with the Excelr8 Motorsport driver just seven points shy of the points lead.
Ingram followed up a pair of fifths earlier in the day with victory in the partially reversed-grid final race at Silverstone, keeping the Hyundai driver in title contention for the sixth year in a row.
From fourth on the grid, Ingram was into the lead exiting the second corner at Becketts after his rivals ahead came together.
Pole-sitter Josh Cook and fellow front-row starter Dan Cammish made contact away from the line, followed by Adam Morgan then contacting Cook at the second corner to give Ingram a clear run into the lead.
Thereafter he cantered to a 23rd career victory, leaving him just seven points adrift of Ash Sutton heading to the final event in Kent in two weeks’ time.
“It was like Moses, the sea parted,” said Ingram to TouringCars.Net of his race three win. “Dan and Josh came together off the start.
“Initially I was worried that I was going to get caught up in that, because I thought ‘if he gets pinned and gets fired into the wall I’ve got literally nowhere to go’. Thankfully, no harm came of it.
“I got a nice undercut from Dan going through Turn 1 and then up the inside into Becketts and then Adam and Josh came together. I was like ‘surely this isn’t happening’ because my luck never works this way. And it was pure luck that I had to be in that position at the time.
“I don’t feel that we have necessarily had a good bit of luck this year. Certainly, with the reverse grids, we haven’t lucked into them at all, so it was quite a nice position and to be able to take the lead and ultimately control the pace of the race.
“We made loads of changes for that last race because the car was good but not quite where I wanted. It was alright, but not the car I wanted. That car in the last race was the car I wanted.
“It’s a nice place to be going into the finale off the back of a win at the previous race. We’re the best placed of the close title contenders, because Colin [Turkington] absolutely is not out of it, but of the three [close] title contenders I’m best placed in terms of hybrid.
“I feel really well placed – I’m very, very excited to go into it. I feel like I’m probably best-placed in terms of the fact that I’ve got the excitement. The other two are going to be fairly nervous not to lose it whereas I’m going for it.”
Ingram is hoping that his experience of being in the championship mix at the season finale will finally pay dividends this year.
“Its’ going to be nice to be in a position where I’ve been there before, Ash has been there before, Colin has definitely been there before about 150 times, so [it’s nice] to be doing it now with Jake involved as well.
“I’d say he [Hill] is probably in the fastest car of the three of us at the minute, so if I was going to start pointing out who should be expected to have a good one it would be Jake, but don’t rule any of us out.
“There’s seven points with three races to go – I don’t know a year like it. This is going to the last lap of the last race.
“I’ve been here 59 times and never won it, I’m getting fed up with it, so I could with winning it at some point.”