Ingram sets the pace at Donington BTCC tyre test

Ingram sets the pace at Donington BTCC tyre test

BTCC makes welcome return to GP circuit during Goodyear tyre test
Reigning champion Tom Ingram set the quickest time during the annual Goodyear tyre test (4 July), as the BTCC made its return to the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit for the first time since 2002.

More than six hours of running around the famous 2.49 miles GP circuit layout provided an intriguing insight ahead of the Championship’s upcoming race weekend at the end of August (26/27).

The afternoon session proved to be the quickest as Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) shot to the top of the timesheets ahead of Árón Taylor-Smith (CarStore Power Maxed Racing) and Ricky Collard (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK).

A trio of potential title contenders followed in the order – Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing UK), Colin Turkington (Team BMW) and Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport) – with the latter bouncing back after a difficult morning.

Having enjoyed a near perfect weekend last time out when Hill scored two victories, a second place and three fastest laps at Oulton Park, his test day at Donington Park began with rather contrasting fortunes.

Hill’s BMW 320e M Sport brought about the only stoppage to proceedings in the opening session as his car ground to a halt at the Old Hairpin, which later resulted in a rare engine change for the #24 machine. With only a few laps on the clock, Hill set about making up for lost time and will be content with a top six finish.

The fastest time of the morning belonged to Tom Chilton (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8), and he took seventh overall, whilst Dan Rowbottom (NAPA Racing UK), Adam Morgan (Team BMW) and Andrew Watson (CarStore Power Maxed Racing) rounded out the top ten.

There were 20 BTCC regulars on-track during the day, whilst Team HARD introduced two rookies – Daryl DeLeon and Nathan Harrison – into the fold, with the former performing admirably to claim 11th. 

The 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship now moves into the second half of the campaign with the next event taking place at Croft in North Yorkshire on the 29/30 July.

Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8: "We are all done for the day here at Donington Park GP circuit – the first time we've been here since 2002! It's going to be fun when we come back for the race weekend here in August and I'm sure the fans are going to really enjoy it too.

"It's been a good day and we've got loads done, especially with tweaking and finding little bits and pieces to improve.

"It's always nice to get back in the car and get refreshed before Croft in a couple of weeks"

Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing, said: “This was definitely the most productive day of testing we’ve had so far this year. To finish the day in second is always a nice little boost, but as always, there’s definitely more time to come in the car and from myself.

“Without getting too technical and giving anything away, there are a few things we’ve been waiting to try until today, to give it the proper time and attention, and it’s helped us unlock a new avenue in the Vauxhall Astra.

“So, it’s all good news, and this gives us a nice little lift during the summer break as we turn the focus on to Croft.”

2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Combined Classification, Goodyear Tyre Test – Donington Park

1. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 1:33.197s
2. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.064s
3. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.151s
4. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +0.204s
5. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +0.291s
6. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +0.385s
7. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.387s
8. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +0.417s
9. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +0.432s
10. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.444s
11. Daryl DeLeon, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.482s
12. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.585s
13. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.721s
14. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +0.821s
15. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.831s
16. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +0.972s 
17. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +1.061s
18. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +1.228s
19. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +1.442s
20. Nathan Harrison, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +1.563s
21. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +2.515s
22. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +2.555s

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