Tom Ingram shone in tough conditions to take a brace of podiums in Rounds Seven, Eight and Nine of the 2012 Ginetta GT Supercup at Thruxton, though there was disappointment when a mechanical problem cruelly denied him of a second victory of the season.
Ingram travelled down south with his tail up after securing his breakthrough G55 win a fortnight earlier at Donington Park and was confident of more strong results at Thruxton, the scene of his maiden car racing podium in 2009, debut win in 2010 and triple triumph in 2011.
Torrential rain made for treacherous conditions throughout the weekend, starting in qualifying, which marked the first time that Ingram had driven his JHR Developments G55 in the wet. Ingram didn't let this phase him though, with a tremendous run seeing the 18 year old put himself second on the grid.
Reflecting on the opening two races, the BRDC Rising Star said: “It was very cold and the circuit was very 'green' in race one, making it especially difficult to warm the tyres, and we made a slight set-up error which in hindsight was a mistake on my part. At the start, I tried to go around the outside of the pole-sitter Tom Sharp into the first corner, but I couldn't quite make the move stick. I was never far behind him all the way through the race, but I had Carl Breeze keeping me honest, too, and I was pleased to finish second as it represented good, solid points.
“The track was extremely wet for race two on Sunday morning, but I got a good launch off the line and pushed Sharp quite hard for the opening half. Visibility was really poor, though, and when the rain began falling more heavily, big puddles formed so I made the decision to concentrate on holding onto second place rather than risking a move that could have left us both in the barriers.”
After running behind Sharp in both the first two races, Ingram got his chance to start ahead of the championship leader thanks to the reverse grid for race three, which put him third on the grid. By the first corner, the MSA Academy member was already in the race lead and began stretching his legs in front during the early stages before disaster struck, a broken driveshaft forcing him to crawl back to the pits.
Ingram commented: “I was confident in the car that I could pull away,” he recounted, “and after Donington, I knew I could control the race from the front. Before long, though, I began struggling for traction in the wet conditions, causing me to slide all over the place. At first, I thought it was just my tyres, until I came down to Church Corner – the fastest part of the circuit – and lost all drive right on the apex, which upset the balance of the car. That was a pretty scary moment…”
Although it was not the end to the weekend that Ingram had hoped for, he was still able to take many positives away from Thruxton and now heads into a month-long break before the next rounds still well in the hunt for a third consecutive championship, only 49 points behind Sharp on dropped scores.
Ingram, who made it on to the Thruxton grid thanks to Hansford Sensors, Matthew & Leigh-Anne Kirby, One Dry Wash, Race-Keeper and Teng Tools, concluded: “It was obviously disappointing to lose the win like that, but unfortunately that's racing and you have to take the rough with the smooth,” he maturely concluded, making a point of thanking JHR. We need to start pushing for more wins now to prevent Sharp from extending his advantage, so next time, it will be all guns blazing!”