Speedworks Motorsport opened its 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship account with victory in the opening round at Brands Hatch with Tom Ingram claiming the win for the Cheshire based squad.
Ingram set his stall out in the opening two free practice sessions of the weekend, going quickest in both, then backing it up with a front row start in qualifying.
In a rain-affected session, Jeff Smith [Honda] claimed pole position, while Ingram grabbed second place, just 0.062secs separating the two of them.
Less than a second covering the top 24 cars on the grid, showing the competitive nature of the BTCC.
Wasting no time in race one, Ingram led past Smith in to the first corner, and despite an early safety car period, after Matt Neal [Honda] and Colin Turkington [BMW] made contact off the start, Imgram led unhindered, in the Speedworks Toyota Avensis, all the way to the chequered flag, followed home by 2016 champion Gordon Shedden [Honda] and the Mercedes of Adam Morgan.
Tom eventually led the pack away for race two after a technical problem with his Avensis meant the start was aborted, then an incident on the restart with Jason Plato’s Subaru led to another cafety Car, but the former Ginetta champion was forced to give way to the hard charging Shedden on the second lap.
A robust move by the BMW of Rob Collard left Ingram in third by the flag, although still the leading independent runner.
The Speedworks racer ended the day with an 11th placed finish in race three, fifth of the independents, the Race won by former BTCC champion Andrew Jordan in his Pirtek BMW.
Tom told btcc.net: “That was absolutely fantastic, how do you put it into words?
“Winning here two years on the bounce – it’s the best way to repay all that hard work over the winter.
“It’s a heck of a result and I’m really pleased.”
Ingram sits second in both the overall and independents championship as the series heads to Donington Park in Leicestershire on April 16. Gordon Shedden leads the overall series, while Adam Morgan heads the independent cars.