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Saturday, May 18, 2024

BTCC Donington: Ingram dominates apply

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The 2022 champion was joyful to go about his personal programme for almost all of each 35-minute durations at a bitterly chilly Leicestershire circuit and on every event he set the usual because the chequered flag flew.

In FP1, Ingram and his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N smashed the earlier better of Dan Cammish – after flashing Jake Hill out of the best way as he descended the Craner Curves – to the tune of 0.323 seconds.

A mid-session bathe of rain meant it appeared unlikely that anybody of the main contenders would enhance in FP2, but it surely quickly dried out and there have been three or 4 laborious laps of operating on the finish for almost all of the sphere.

Ingram cruised to the highest of the instances on his penultimate lap, after which moved into the glamour territory of the 1m07s bracket on his closing tour to defeat Dan Rowbottom by 0.276s.

“I don’t know whether or not that second session was pretty circumstantial due to the situations, however everybody gave the impression to be pushing on and I’m more than happy to this point,” Ingram informed Autosport.

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PLUS: How Ingram is seeking to reclaim the BTCC crown from Sutton

“We set the ball rolling with an excellent pre-season testing [primarily three days at Anglesey] and we’ve continued to enhance the automobile.

“Bits of final 12 months’s had been good, and there are bits of this 12 months’s which are higher, so we’re wanting in good condition.”

Tom Ingram, Bristol Road Motors with EXCELR8 Hyundai i30 N Fastback

Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Rowbottom, who at all times appears to be like spectacular at Donington, pushed on to good impact to be the second quickest driver throughout the 2 periods within the main NAPA-liveried Alliance Racing Ford Focus ST.

Crew-mate Cammish was subsequent up in FP2, a fraction slower than his FP1 time, for third total.

A final-lap effort hoisted four-time champion Colin Turkington into fourth place in his West Surrey Racing BMW 330e M Sport, forward of spectacular BTCC sophomore Mikey Doble on the wheel of the main Energy Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra.

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Quickest from the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla camp was Aiden Moffat – fifth within the morning and sixth total forward of the subsequent WSR BMW of Adam Morgan, who sat out a lot of the second session.

Hill was sixth in FP2 to go eighth total in his WSR BMW, whereas the ultimate two drivers within the prime 10 – reigning champion Ash Sutton (Alliance Ford) and Aron Taylor-Smith (PMR Vauxhall) – each set their instances in FP1.

Any concepts Sutton could have had about stamping in a late flier had been scotched by a black flag for observe limits, forcing him to take a seat out the ultimate 5 minutes – doubtlessly barely harsh since he was one in all solely a few drivers pushing on when the observe was damp.

Rob Huff’s full-time return to the BTCC with Speedworks resulted in an eventful FP1 – first he peeled the left nook of his rear bumper askew on a chicane tyre stack, after which needed to park within the pits with driveshaft failure.

However no less than he was in higher form than fellow veteran Tom Chilton, who failed to finish a flying lap in both session on account of persistent overboost issues on his Excelr8 Hyundai, the workforce even disconnecting the turbo in FP2 in a bid to find the foundation trigger – to no avail.

With alternate FP2 positions deciding the teams for the new-for-2024 qualifying format, meaning Ingram, Cammish, Doble, Morgan and Moffat will characteristic within the first group, with Rowbottom up in opposition to the may of Turkington, Hill, Huff and Sutton within the second.

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