- Two-time Independents’ Champ Ingram continues pursuit of overall crown
- Cheshire-based Speedworks boast strong recent record at Snetterton
- Toyota Corolla showed its rivals a clean pair of wheels in Norfolk last year
Fresh from a brilliant back-to-front triumph at Croft just over a week ago, Tom Ingram is eyeing more victory champagne at Snetterton this weekend (24/25 October), as he bids to further close the gap to the top of the title table in the penultimate outing of the 2020 British Touring Car Championship campaign.
Ingram’s race three win at Croft – after beginning the day at the rear of the grid, the legacy of a suspension issue that cost him pole position in qualifying – vaulted him right back into contention for the biggest prize in British motorsport. As a result, the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters star heads to Snetterton just 29 points shy of the summit of the standings amongst the 30 high-calibre protagonists – with 124 points remaining up for grabs.
What’s more, the Norfolk circuit – the longest on the BTCC calendar at 2.97 miles – has been a happy hunting ground for the 27-year-old Bucks-born ace in recent seasons, yielding three visits to the rostrum from his last six starts.
In 2018, Ingram produced a stunning recovery drive from 27th to third, pinching a podium from current title rival Dan Cammish right on the line and posting the race’s fastest lap along the way. Twelve months later, he claimed the Toyota Corolla’s maiden BTCC pole position at Snetterton with a scintillating new lap record, converting it into a lights-to-flag victory in race one and leading race two until a turbo wastegate failure sent him plummeting down the order – setting the scene for another outstanding fightback from 23rd to eighth in the day’s finale.
The two-time BTCC Independents’ Champion led more than twice as many laps as anybody else at the circuit in 2019, and out of this year’s major championship contenders, he has been the top scorer at Snetterton over the past two seasons – despite drawing two blanks due to mechanical problems.
As he aims to reach his fourth title showdown in Britain’s premier motor racing series in as many years, Ingram has more silverware solidly in his sights this weekend. All of the doorhandle-to-doorhandle action will be broadcast live on ITV4 on Sunday, 25 October, beginning at 10:05am.
Christian Dick, Team Principal, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters, said:
“The closer we get to the end of the season, the more the intensity and the pressure ramp up. We saw that at Croft, which is all the more reason why I was so proud of the way this team dug deep after our qualifying misfortune to battle back and actually outscore all of our chief championship rivals. On Saturday afternoon, that looked like the longest of long shots.
“We will take that fighting spirit on to Snetterton, which we know is a good track for the Corolla. Now, more than ever, we need to remain cool, calm and collected, with our focus firmly on the prize. We may still be the outsiders, but the gap is closing and our recent form shows we can turn it on at any kind of circuit and in any kind of weather. We had a very quick car at Snetterton last season, and we have improved it considerably over the intervening year.
“Saying that, we need to remain grounded, and whilst Tom has the best recent record of the major contenders at Snetterton, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the formbook means nothing and we can’t afford to take anything for granted. We will continue to concentrate on the job in hand, continue plugging away and hopefully at the end of the day, that will reap dividends. It might be getting colder, but we’re ready to turn up the heat!”
Tom Ingram, Driver, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters, said:
“If there’s one thing we can safely predict about the final two weekends of the 2020 BTCC season, it’s that they’re going to be entirely unpredictable! The last few weeks are proof of that. At Silverstone, we had victory in the bag in race two until we picked up a puncture close to the end that cost us 20 points, and then we went to Croft – a rear wheel-drive track – and saw three front wheel-drive wins, including ourselves in race three, having begun the day on the back row of the grid!
“So although we are currently 29 points away from the championship lead, that can change in an instant, and with the season running later into the year than usual, extra elements like the weather will almost certainly come into play.
“What we do know is that we have a very fast car now pretty much everywhere we go, and Snetterton was already one of the Corolla’s strongest circuits in 2019. Indeed, we were unlucky not to come away with a double victory, so this time around I’m aiming to set that record straight. We had the pace for pole at Croft – arguably not our most natural hunting ground – and we know we have the speed to win at Snetterton. We need big results this weekend to close the points gap – and that’s exactly what I’m targeting.”
Date of Birth: 20 August, 1993
Hometown: High Wycombe, Bucks
2019: BTCC, 6th/32 overall (4 wins)
2018: BTCC, 2nd/41 overall (3 wins, 9 podiums); Independent Drivers’ Champion
2017: BTCC, 3rd/37 overall (4 wins, 9 podiums); Independent Drivers’ Champion
2016: BTCC, 10th/36 overall (2 wins, 6 podiums); 4th/24 in Independents’ Trophy
2015: BTCC, 13th/39 overall (2 podiums);
5th/29 in Independents’ Trophy
2014: BTCC, 14th/32 overall (rookie season); 11th/28 in Independents’ Trophy
2013: Ginetta GT SuperCup Champion (11 wins, 22 podiums)
2012: Ginetta GT SuperCup, 3rd overall (6 wins, 17 podiums)
2011: Ginetta GT SuperCup (Champion, G50 Class – 10 wins, 18 podiums)
2010: Ginetta Junior Champion (5 wins, 13 podiums)