Speedworks show Northern Soul on 'most competitive weekend to-date'
Speedworks Motorsport maintained its progression towards the front
of the field in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Croft, as
Tom Ingram tallied a trio of top eight finishes behind the wheel of the
Northwich, Cheshire-based outfit’s Hughes Safety Showers-backed Toyota Avensis.
Ingram came out-of-the-blocks in superb form during free practice around the
technical and demanding North Yorkshire circuit, lapping fastest of all in the
opening session and second-quickest in the next amongst the 30 high-profile
protagonists. Unfortunately, just as he looked set to convert that into the
finest qualifying position of his fledgling tin-top career, traffic in the
wrong place at the wrong time conspired against the 21-year-old British Racing
Drivers’ Club (BRDC) SuperStar.
That left Ingram a frustrated and unrepresentative 13th on the grid
in the immensely popular, ITV4 live-televised, all-action BTCC – commonly
regarded as the world’s premier and most fiercely-disputed tin-top series.
Impressively undeterred, he battled his way past no fewer than five adversaries
in race one to flash across the finish line an excellent eighth, even applying
some late pressure to former champions Matt Neal, Andrew Jordan and Colin
Turkington – esteemed company indeed.
Ingram replicated that result in the second outing, once again keeping pace
with the series’ established front-runners despite having to contend with 21kg
of success ballast and the more rapidly-degrading, softer compound tyres.
The KX Akademy graduate and MSA Academy member – last year’s leading rookie –
then went one better in the third and final encounter, surviving an early
assault from behind that sent him briefly sideways to harass multiple champions
Turkington and Jason Plato and race two winner Sam Tordoff right the way to the
chequered flag in seventh.
The hat-trick of top eight finishes increases Speedworks’ 2015 tally to 11 top
tens and a commendable 13 points scores from 15 starts, strengthening its
standing in the championship tables heading into the six-week summer break. The
squad sits eighth out of 18 in the overall Teams’ classification and third in
the Independents’ Trophy, having gained 15 points on its closest rival at
“I’m really pleased,” remarked team principal Christian Dick. “On raw pace, I’d
say this has been our strongest and most genuinely competitive weekend to-date.
We didn’t luck into a single result – we were up towards the front on merit
from the moment the car took to the track, so just imagine what we might have
achieved if only we’d qualified where we should have done.
“Tom has gained further experience of racing against the series’ really quick
guys and is continuing to earn their respect – his driving was spot-on
throughout. He was robust when he needed to be, and he really looked after the
car with the ballast and soft tyres on-board in race two. Similarly, the
Avensis performed consistently well, which is a credit to all the boys’ stellar
efforts and hard work.
“In summary, we showed a lot of potential and left with three very solid
finishes and a strong points haul, which is a brilliant way to sign off the
first half of the campaign – it gives everybody inside the team a real boost
and a lot of momentum to carry into the summer break. That’s tremendously
encouraging, so now we need to go away and do some testing to really build upon
this when the season resumes.”