After the start-line shunt at Knockhill, I knew how tough it was going to be to come back fighting in the Ginetta GT Supercup at Rockingham, but I worked hard on making sure everything was ready so that I could literally just jump in and go! It took about a week to start to feel better, but once I did, everything happened very quickly.
Rockingham is a track that I love and I was really looking forward to it, so getting into the car on Friday morning and being quickest by almost half-a-second was a great start. I should also have been quickest in the afternoon practice session in the wet, but I couldn’t quite hook all the sectors up due to traffic. Still, both myself and the team were over-the-moon with that and we also learned a lot.
On Saturday morning, I got up nice and early and went for a few laps of the circuit on my bike before the action began; I set off in the dark and went round until the sun came up, which was pretty cool. We had qualifying and one of the two races that day, and qualifying went exactly to-plan – leaving it very late, I managed to bang in a time to put me on pole position by three tenths. Again, we were delighted and the car felt incredible!
I was really nervous about race one, mainly due to what had happened at Knockhill and that showed at the start as I got away terribly with far too much wheelspin. I had to claw my way back whilst remaining mindful that 18 laps of Rockingham can be a killer on tyres – although with a strong chance of rain for Sunday’s race, I knew I would be able to push harder towards the end should I need to. The safety car came out just before half-distance, and when it returned to the pit-lane, I got a good re-start and was pushing Andy Richardson for second place. I managed to find a gap at Tarzan Hairpin, and then set about chasing down Carl Breeze for the lead.
After a few laps, I was on him. I knew I had to take advantage of my strongest sector – the final one – and with just one lap left, I got a great run out of Tarzan and pulled to the outside of Carl towards the chicane. That gave me the momentum heading onto the pit straight and we were side-by-side along the banking going into Turn One. I had the inside line for the hairpin, though, which meant that it was then just a case of getting the car stopped! After that, I concentrated on establishing a small gap to reduce the risk of a late counter-attack, and I came across the line to take the win by 1.7 seconds. It was a great result for myself and the JHR Developments team after Knockhill.
The heavens well-and-truly opened ahead of race two the following day, drenching the circuit. Again, I didn’t get the best of starts – with a little too much wheelspin dropping me to third – but I managed to reclaim second place straight away into the first hairpin.
It was another race in which we saw the safety car, but that allowed me to close right onto the back of Carl in the lead and apply some pressure. Once the safety car had disappeared, I focussed on searching for slingshots to find a way past, and in the end I stuck my nose down the inside at Tarzan. We came out side-by-side on the run down to the chicane – with me on the outside – and then it was just a late-braking exercise, fortunately one that I won! After grabbing the lead, I set about pulling a gap and I crossed the line to take my second win of the meeting by 1.5 seconds.
It was such a great weekend for the team and myself, and I must once more say a huge ‘thank you’ to JHR for getting the car back together and sorted after Knockhill. Also a huge thanks to KX, SKYCIG, Hansford Sensors and of course all you guys for keeping up the support!
Thanks very much for reading, and don’t forget you can catch up with all the news on my Twitter feed @TomIngram80 and at my website www.tom-ingram.com