Tom Ingram Secures Sensational Maiden BTCC Pole At Brands


Tom Ingram stole the headlines with pole position for the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of the season at Brands Hatch.

The Speedworks Motorsport driver continued his fine performance on Saturday at the Kent circuit, beating reigning champion Gordon Shedden to the top spot to earn a popular maiden BTCC pole position.

The 2011 lap record of Matt Neal was swiftly bettered by his own team-mate Shedden after seven minutes of action, as the reigning champion looked to save his best effort of the day until last.

The form book was then torn apart by the impressive Ingram moments later, as his time of 47.990s moved the benchmark forward by another 0.063s as spots of rain threatened.

Those sprinkles made times slump ever so slightly during the final 15 minutes of the session, Ingram fending off the attention of both Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-Rs despite Neal making slight improvements.

It would not be enough for the Dynamics duo, as Ingram claimed a ecstatic first pole position of his BTCC career, joined on the front row by reigning champion, Shedden.

Neal missed out on the front row by 0.048s, joined on the second row by Sam Tordoff‘s West Surrey Racing BMW after a late improvement by the latter jumped him ahead of the the rapid Ashley Sutton.

The reigning Renault UK Clio Cup champion finished top rookie comfortably for Triple Eight Racing, beating his MG team-mate Josh Cook, while Adam Morgan‘s Mercedes A-Class will start seventh tomorrow.

Jack Goff steadily climbed the order from an early spin to wind up eighth on the grid, the top 10 rounded out by Mat Jackson‘s Ford and Aron Smith‘s Team BKR Volkswagen CC.

Colin Turkington‘s best effort of the day for Team BMR put the Subaru Levorg 11th overall, Jason Plato ending the session down in 23rd place.

Kelvin Fletcher‘s first qualifying session in BTCC saw him tail the field, only 2.578s off the pace, while Stewart Lines and Jame Cole both suffered minor offs.