Tom Ingram had to ‘play the hybrid percentage game’ in order to fend off the challenge from Jake Hill in the penultimate British Touring Car Championship race of the season.
Whilst Ingram led the race from lights-to-flag, he twice had to see off rivals in order to claim a third consecutive win.
Toyota’s Rory Butcher pressured Ingram on the opening laps, but once MB Motorsport’s Hill had found a way past on lap eight, Ingram soon had to defend from the rear-wheel drive BMW.
With two fewer laps of hybrid than Hill, Ingram had to use his allocation strategically in order to hold on to the win.
“That was difficult – Jake definitely had the pace on me then,” Ingram told TouringCars.Net. “The only real way I could get rid of Jake was to deploy hybrid, so I had to deploy hybrid to get a gap.
“Once I had a gap, I let him catch me over three laps and then see where it was after that.
“There was really only one area, in sector three, that he was particularly faster than me. For the rest of the lap, I think we were fairly equally matched. There was definitely time for me to try and find in there [sector three].
“I was having to play the hybrid percentage game and try to deploy to get a gap and then save, and thankfully Jake used his up earlier than I did and that just meant I had a clean run to the finish.”
Ahead of the season finale, Ingram now has an 11-point lead over Hill, with Ash Sutton a further three points back.
The top ten have been randomly selected to be reversed, leaving Sutton to start from sixth, Hill ninth and Ingram tenth.
“I just need to maintain the form we’ve had today,” added Ingram. “Stay relaxed, stay calm and let’s just get this last race out of the way and try and bring it back.”