Tom Ingram rounded off an extraordinary weekend of BTCC action by winning the final race at Croft, completing Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters’ own story of redemption having started Sunday’s opening contest from the back of the grid.
Ingram grabbed pole position on-the-road during Saturday’s qualifying session, only for his Toyota Corolla to fail post-session ride height checks, resulting in a charge through the order during race day.
He surged from 25th to 13th in the opener before a hugely impressive fourth place in the second bout, but it was his performance in the finale that will live long in the memory for the Bucks ace.
Starting from third on the grid, Ingram blasted by Dan Cammish’s Honda Civic Type R off the line and shortly after, he was making a sensational pass by BTC Racing’s Tom Chilton on the run towards Sunny In.
Cammish closed in after he eventually passed Chilton in a similar move with the #27 machine the strongest on-track during the closing stages. Thankfully for Ingram, however, Cammish ran out of time and the victory went to the Speedworks Motorsport squad.
“I think the day has surprised us,” said Ingram. “From starting back in Darlington this morning, to finishing race three with a win, and I’m so, so happy. It just goes to show that you can never get your head down in Touring Cars; the day can turn around.
“You’ve just got to stay positive because it’s amazing what you can drag back from seemingly nowhere. I’m so, so pleased with how we’ve done as a team today. We’ve kept positive, kept our chin up and just focussed towards race three and trying to bag big points in the third race.
“I was counting each lap down; I was counting each corner down – corner by corner by corner. Spencer came over the radio to say there were nine laps to go, and those nine laps felt like about 900 laps.
“I was so pleased to get to the end, I could see Dan was coming at me again, like we have done the past few weekends, like a freight train. To recover from where we did is a huge thing for Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters and I just cannot say thank you enough to everyone at home for all their support as well because we’ve had loads of it so thank you!”
Chilton completed the podium ahead of Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal and the phenomenal Ash Sutton – the championship leader having made up a total of 15 places in his Laser Tools Racing Infiniti.
Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant was sixth, whilst Jake Hill completed a fantastic day personally with seventh following his early double podium.
Josh Cook was still the star of the weekend as he backed-up his pole position, two race victories and one fastest lap with a solid eighth place in the finale.
Excelr8 Motorsport’s Senna Proctor and Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat came home in ninth and tenth respectively.
There were two other separate incidents of note in the final race – both dramatic but for very different reasons…
Colin Turkington slid out of contention as he picked up a puncture in the opening skirmishes, which compounded a difficult day for the man so often dubbed the ‘King of Croft’. The Northern Irishman returned to the track, taking the fastest lap in the process to score a solitary championship point. It could still be a critical score for the four-time champion, but he’s now 12 points behind Sutton in the standings.
The other moment was shocking in every sense as Thompson’s GKR TradePriceCars.com Audi S3 endured a frightening barrel-roll. Thompson was running in the pack and whilst the incident wasn’t made completely clear via the TV picture, the Essex man’s car was flung into the air at high speed and rolled several times before coming to rest on its roof. Despite the violent nature of the accident it was to everyone’s delight to see Bobby emerge from the wreckage without any visible injuries of note.
Sutton now leads by seven points from Cammish with Turkington a further five in arrears, whilst Ingram’s latest success fires him back into title contention.
The UK’s elite motorsport series now moves on to its penultimate event at Snetterton in two weeks’ time (24/25 October), before the season finale at Brands Hatch next month (14/15 November).
2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 3 – Croft
1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters 18 laps
2 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.278s
3 Tom CHILTON (GBR) BTC Racing +5.001s
4 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +6.453s
5 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +6.472s
6 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +7.129s
7 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +8.099s
8 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +8.548s
9 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +10.235s
10 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +10.435s
11 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Motorbase Performance +10.894s
12 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +11.438s
13 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools +13.535s
14 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +16.681s
15 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +16.825s
16 Andy NEATE (GBR) Motorbase Performance +17.677s
17 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +18.639s
18 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +18.975s
19 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +25.669s
20 Jack BUTEL (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools +29.487s
21 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Team HARD +31.497s
22 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) HUB Financial Solutions with Team HARD +1:22.945s
23 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +4 laps
24 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +16 laps
25 Michael CREES (GBR) The Clever Baggers with BTC Racing +16 laps