Tom Ingram Tops Rockingham FP1 In Greasy Conditions


Greasy conditions in Saturday’s opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship free practice at Rockingham left teams guessing initially, Tom Ingram heading the way.

The drivers took to the 1.94-mile Corby circuit on wet tyres initially due to greasy conditions in the early morning, Matt Neal the man setting the initial pace before times eventually began to improve during the 40-minute session.

With times lapping up to 10 seconds off lap record pace, they soon tumbled as conditions improved slightly, despite light showers of rain interloping throughout.

The young guns took to the conditions most favourably during this trickier phase, Ingram (Toyota), Josh Cook (Chevrolet) and Mike Bushell (Ford) all trading the top spot between themselves.

It was the Speedworks Toyota of Ingram that eventually came out on top in that dice, topping the times with a 1m24.135s effort, just less than two seconds off lap record pace and 0.309s quicker than Dave Newsham‘s Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze.

Newsham’s team-mate Cook was next up in third as the Chevrolet team impressed again, Adam Morgan next up for Mercedes while Team BMR‘s Aron Smith ended fifth.

The Irishman’s Volkswagen team-mate Colin Turkington was next up, the top 10 rounded out by Rob Collard (BMW), Hunter Abbott (Audi), Sam Tordoff (BMW) and Bushell.

Jason Plato meanwhile – leading the championship by nine points after Knockhill – spent most of the session inactive with his Volkswagen CC parked in the garage, the BMR driver’s tyres hurting least of all as a result. Similarly to Andrew Jordan, he did eventually leave but did not set a timed lap, the outing merely a tester in the tricky conditions.

Nick Foster‘s West Surrey Racing return saw him finish 15th, while the Honda Civic duo of Gordon Shedden and Neal finished 22nd and 24th respectively.

Stewart Lines suffered a suspected driveshaft problem meanwhile in first practice, the Houseman Racing Toyota crawling along the main straight but making it back to the pits.

FP2 gets underway at 12:40, and you can keep up with the action here at www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk, or via Twitter at @tcfBTCC.