Ingram claimed the BTCC title for the first time within the remaining race final 12 months on the wheel of his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N and, after the automobiles arrived in parc ferme, outgoing champion Ash Sutton peeled the #1 sticker off the window of his Motorbase Efficiency-run Ford Focus ST and caught it onto Ingram’s automobile.
Ingram has all the time raced with the #80 – his solely earlier outright crowns got here in Ginetta Junior in 2010 and within the Ginetta GT Supercup in 2013, each collection from which he instantly graduated up the ladder.
“The #1 was such a call to take,” Ingram advised Autosport.
“It sounds weird, as a result of #80 is what I’ve carried endlessly in each single automobile, it’s the quantity that I carried on my go-kart. That’s my quantity, that’s me!
“The choice that we made was to go along with the #1 for a few causes: the beautiful gesture that Ash made on the finish of the season by taking the quantity off his automobile and sticking it on mine, it will have felt improper to not carry that forwards, as a result of it was such an attractive second; and we additionally might by no means get one other probability to defend a title, and what a privilege to have the ability to do it.”
Tom Ingram, Bristol Road Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com Hyundai i30N
Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images
Ingram additionally backed the return of the option-tyre rule for 2023 – this was dropped final season whereas groups tailored to the additional automobile weight from the brand new hybrid system.
It comes within the wake of some observers believing that it’s one synthetic variable too many when used together with restrictions on hybrid for essentially the most profitable drivers, in addition to reversed grids, however after some criticism that the motion in 2022 was not as entertaining as in earlier seasons.
“I’m on the purist facet of it – we should always have the ability to have the quickest automobiles and the quickest drivers on the entrance every time,” stated Ingram.
“However then it turns into boring racing, whereby it’s the identical driver, the identical automobile that’s on the entrance each time, and the premise of the BTCC is so as to add a little bit of drama to it.
“It’s a TV present, it’s a circus, it must be entertaining for folks to observe – that’s what retains it attention-grabbing, why folks love reside sport, it’s the unpredictable nature of it.
“The quick automobiles and quick drivers will all the time keep on the entrance, it’s just some extra variations inside it.
“I’m happy that I used to be in a position to win the championship in possibly arguably the purest of years. Nevertheless, it’s a present and we’ve received to make it entertaining.”