Of the champions celebrations we’ve seen on the BTCC package so far this season, none have been more emotional than 2013 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup champion Tom Ingram’s last weekend. .
From the moment the 20 year old crossed the finish line after race one at Silverstone, the emotions started to pour out. The culmination of two seasons of hard-work, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Ingram, his family, friends and the JHR Developments team celebrated the latest title success.
Simply put, Ingram’s run to the title has been sensational. The High Wycombe-based racer wrapped up the crown with four races to spare, thanks to an incredible current run of 22 consecutive podium finishes, stretching back to the third race of the opening weekend at Brands Hatch in March.
That stunning podium streak has included eleven race wins, with Ingram’s recent dominance being proved by the fact he’s won the last five races on the bounce, building his championship lead over outgoing champion Carl Breeze to 199 points.
Describing the feeling of finally wrapping up the title to The Checkered Flag ‘the morning after the day before’, Ingram said: “It’s just about sunk in now. It felt great to wake up and think ‘yeah, we’ve done it’. To come in to the awning this morning and to see the boys all with smiles on their faces was a really cool feeling.
“We’ve all worked so hard for this. What I do is only 5% of it, 95% of it is what goes on behind the scenes from the team, the sponsors, my family and everyone else. To be able to give a championship back to them is a really special feeling, and to finally get it done is such a release of emotions.”
The Supercup success makes it an incredible three championship wins in four years for the BRDC Rising Star, following his Ginetta Junior Championship win in 2010 and Ginetta G50 Cup success a year later.
The SKYCIG-backed racer has become the first driver to win three different Ginetta championships, with Ingram full of praise for the support the Yorkshire-based marque have given him during his career so far.
“I could have never imagined this level of success and it’s pretty cool what we’ve achieved. I’m particularly proud to have achieved all three championships with Ginetta,” enthused Ingram.
“The help and support they’ve given me over the years has been mind-blowing. Whenever I’ve needed anything they’ve been at the end of the phone to help. I don’t know of any other British manufacturers that help young drivers like they do, giving us a platform for a career, right from when we start racing into professional motorsport.”
As well as the support from Ginetta, Ingram has been one of six British drivers benefitting from backing from the KX Akademy this year, having joined the programme at its inception in mid-2011.
The scheme sees Ingram and co receive financial backing, as well as mentoring and support from the KX team, which is headed by two-time BTCC champion Jason Plato.
Ingram has the honour of becoming the first KX Akademy-backed champion, and admits without their backing, the Supercup success wouldn’t have happened.
“Without KX’s support I simply wouldn’t have been racing, especially last season where I had the backing for the first half of the season, but not enough to complete it,” he commented.
“That’s where KX helped, they’ve helped top up my budget, but in fairness that’s only a small part of it, it’s the support and mentoring that goes with it that has been so helpful. Any young driver out there needs to be on it, it’s brought me on a lot as a driver, both on and off track.”
With one round to go of the 2013 season, the MSA Academy member still has “one goal” remaining, to set a new record for Supercup wins in a season, having now matched Tom Sharp’s record of eleven.
After the Brands Hatch finale the focus will turn to next season, with Ingram targeting a graduation into the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
“All the way through this season I’ve made no bones about it, I want to do touring cars,” he explained. “It’s the thing that got me interested in motorsport in the first place, and I’ve got some good connections with different teams in the paddock, so there’s certainly an opening there. It will take a lot of hard work, but I’m confident I can be on the grid next season.”