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Tom Ingram: ‘The car has felt phenomenal all weekend’

Tom Ingram was pleased with his results in the British Touring Car Championship races at Oulton Park, saying his car has ‘felt phenomenal’ all weekend on his way to a win, a second and a fourth.

Having smashed the qualifying lap record on Saturday on his way to pole position, despite having just five seconds of hybrid boost per lap, Ingram duly went on to score a lights-to-flag win in Sunday’s scorching opening race.

The EXCELR8 Motorsport driver then lost out to Speedworks Motorsport’s Josh Cook in race two, after the soft tyre-shod Toyota racer scythed through the order on the opening lap, resulting in Ingram deciding to allow Cook into the lead without putting up a fight which could have slowed them both down.

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After settling for second, Ingram was then drawn to start from fifth for the final sprint, and duly fought past NAPA Racing’s Dan Cammish just over halfway through the race to claim fourth and make him the weekend’s top scorer.

“It’s been a really strong weekend – we had good pace in qualifying, in the race on both a soft and hard tyre and with and without hybrid,” said Ingram to TouringCars.Net. “It’s felt really strong this weekend.

“We’ve been mega strong, the car has felt phenomenal all weekend and we’ve worked really well as a team. I’m really pleased.”

Ingram explained his decision to not put up a fight against long-time rival Cook in the second race of the day.

“I saw that there was a gap behind Josh, so I was keen to let Josh past and get off into the distance.

“I knew that I was never going to have the pace on the hard tyre, so I wanted to minimise the time loss – I even indicated to let him past.

“Had there not been the parting of the ways for Josh on that first lap, maybe we could have gone on to take another win, but it’s all ifs, coulds and maybes… I was more than happy with second.”

The 30-year-old was also happy to settle for fourth in the final race behind Power Maxed Racing’s Árón Taylor-Smith, even though like most of the field he was back on the soft compound tyre.

“With the limited hybrid I had [in race three] it was always going to be tricky. You have to factor in the tyres and the people that you’re racing against.

“I was more than happy to let Árón stay ahead. I didn’t want to take any bigger risk than I thought was necessary, with where Ash was.

“Árón picked up a track limit [warning] early on and I watched him keep exceeding track limits and thought I probably didn’t need to get past him because he’d get a penalty, but that never came to fruition.”

With Ingram now being second in the drivers’ standings, four points behind Jake Hill and 20 ahead of Ash Sutton, he expects the dynamic of the championship battle to change for the next event.

“Ash will be stronger in the next races because he’ll have more hybrid. We know that the title battle is coming down to when people have the hybrid or when they don’t. We’ll have peaks and troughs.

“I’m happy to let Jake lead the championship going into the next event and happy to sit four points back, and 20 ahead of Ash. We know that Ash will claw that back at the next race.

“Croft is a circuit that I think we’ll be strong at. We’re far quicker than we ever have been with this car, so we should be strong at Croft.

“We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing. I think we’re pulling in the points really well. We’ve had effectively two non-scores this year, with the tyre choice at Snetterton and a puncture at Brands, so I think we’re alright. We’re in good shape.”

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