INGRAM SEEKS BTCC GLORY WITH TOYOTA AT BRANDS HATCH
Toyota Avensis driver Tom Ingram is aiming to clinch the title of top independent in the final rounds of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend (30 September – 1 October). Success at the Kent circuit would also deliver a first independent teams’ title for the privateer Speedworks team.
As well as sealing his first BTCC title, Ingram is also out to improve his standing in the overall drivers’ championship. With four wins to his credit so far this year – a victory tally only bettered by championship leader Ash Sutton – the 24-year-old High Wycombe pilot lies fourth in the table, just one point behind reigning champion Gordon Shedden. In the independents’ title chase he enjoys a healthy 31-point advantage over Jack Goff.
He said: “Going into Brands Hatch, realistically we know the overall championship isn’t going to happen, but of course it’s satisfying to accomplish our pre-season objective of still being in with a shout, so we can hold our heads high.
“What we do have a genuine chance of is winning both independents’ titles and pinching third in the Drivers’ table, which would be an incredible achievement in itself. We are well aware that to do so, we will need to be absolutely on top of our game.”
His mission has been helped by a superb performance at the previous touring car meeting at Silverstone. Ingram claimed a win, second and fourth places to emerge the biggest points-scorer from the weekend’s three championship rounds. If he succeeds in taking the title, it will be the first Independents’ Championship success for a Toyota driver since Lee Brookes won in 1996, racing a Carina E – like the Speedworks Avensis, a British-built car.
Cheshire-based Speedworks, which has raced Toyota Avensis saloons in the BTCC since 2011, currently enjoys a 10-point advantage in the Independent Teams championship over rivals Eurotech.
The weekend’s action will take place on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, with qualifying this Saturday and racing from 11.20am this Sunday. All the race action will be screened live on television on ITV4.