Tom Ingram Blog: Win number one of the year!

by Team TCF
Tom Ingram celebrating after taking victory at Donington Park - Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Tom Ingram celebrating after taking victory at Donington Park - Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Hey guys, thanks very much for reading my blog on rounds four, five and six of the 2012 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup from Donington Park. Apologises for being a week late; I have been with the MSA Team UK squad for three days and haven’t been able to find any wifi to send it across!

Heading into the weekend at Donington, I was full of confidence after testing at Thruxton the previous week, coming away with a lot of valuable data and set-up work that we’d completed. The car had also had a new differential fitted after the problems we'd encountered with it all weekend at Brands Hatch.

Testing was on Thursday, and in FP1 we did very little running as the track was very mixed with dry and wet patches covering the circuit. I only did about ten laps as I didn’t want to risk going off, and we didn’t think we could learn much from it. We decided to focus our attentions on FP2 and getting as much done as possible there. We had a great session and were running quickest for the majority of it until the other guys put on some fresher tyres. We were very pleased with how it had gone. I ran the track and then spent the rest of the evening looking through my data and watching my on-board footage from my RaceKeeper video system.

So with testing being on Thursday, it meant we had Friday off with not much to do but prep the cars and pass the time!

After a long day on Friday waiting for the day to pass, qualifying was finally here. Following testing, I was confident I could deliver a time that would put me close to the front. I ended up P2, which I was happy about – but I knew we had more to find.

Tom Ingram out in front at Donington Park - Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Tom Ingram out in front at Donington Park - Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

In race one, I got an awful start with so much wheelspin off the line and lost a place to Carl Breeze. Unfortunately, that is where I stayed as Carl knew exactly where to put his car to keep his position without slowing himself down. I was pleased with third, but I knew that if we could have got the start sorted we’d have had the pace to do much better.

In race two, I was off P3, my finishing position in race one. I got a better start this time, but unfortunately couldn’t challenge Carl into turn one and it ended up being a repeat of race one.

The third race, however, was much better. I drew P3 on the reverse-grid, and I knew that so long as I got off the line cleanly I’d have the pace to get away. I managed to jump my team-mate Marcus at the start to get into P2, and then passed Colin White down at the Old Hairpin on lap one.

From there on, I had Tom Sharp behind me, but this time I had no-one's bad aero – only the track to myself out front. I made full use of that and I was gradually stretching my lead lap-after-lap – until on lap ten, the safety car was deployed for the stricken car of Colin White. I made a great re-start and crossed the line about three tenths ahead of Sharp – just enough so he couldn’t challenge into turn one. With three laps left I concentrated on staying smooth, not making any mistakes and just bringing the car home in P1.

I came out of the chicane for the final time to see the chequered flag about to drop for me – finally I’d done it! My first win in the G55 and I was just over-the-moon. It was like I’d won the championship, I was so excited, and all the JHR boys were the same!

I must once again say a massive 'thank you' to Hansford Sensors for their support over the weekend and also Matt & Leigh-Anne Kirby for their continued support! Our focus is now on Thruxton and on making sure we continue this run there!

Thanks very much guys, and remember to follow me on Twitter – TomIngram80 – and on my website:

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