Tom Ingram Blog: “Hello Tom, this is Jason Plato”

by Team TCF

Hi guys, thank you for visiting the TCF website and reading my blog!

I’ll begin by talking about Oulton Park – a few weeks ago now, but still a weekend that I’m really pleased about and a great way to start my new partnership with electronic cigarette company SKYCIG. I have always loved driving around Oulton, and for this year I knew I really needed to start putting pressure on Tom Sharp's gap at the top of the title standings – which is exactly what I was able to do. Claiming pole position in qualifying and then taking two wins in the races meant I had completed my goal for the weekend. The championship lead had reduced, but I still had a lot of work to do.

Croft was our next weekend of racing – another circuit I love! We were coming off the back of the two wins at Oulton, so all of us were full of confidence. With a lovely five-and-a-half hour drive up to Yorkshire on the Thursday morning, the rest of the day was spent helping the JHR Developments boys set the awning up and getting things ready for the weekend. At 5pm I then had a 'phone call from a number I didn’t recognise; I answered it and on the other end heard a voice say, 'Hello Tom, this is Jason Plato'. I cannot begin to describe how amazed I was to speak with Jason on the 'phone! He said: 'I have some brilliant news; we’ve selected you as one of our KX Akademy drivers, but you can’t tell anyone until Saturday.' It was the hardest few days ever to try and keep it quiet!

Testing on Friday went really well; I was quickest in both sessions, which was great for us as we knew that with new tyres on, we would have even more pace. Qualifying on Saturday was also very good; I managed to put the car on pole again and at the same time saved my tyres by doing a minimal amount of laps. I got out of the car and immediately put my KX Akademy coat on to go for an interview with Alan Hyde – I was so pleased to finally tell everyone that I was on the KX Akademy!

In race one, I got an awful start with far too much wheelspin, but I slotted in behind Carl Breeze and then settled for second as I knew Sharp was behind me and so I would be taking points away from him regardless. Race two was much better. Starting off P2, I got away well and tucked in behind Carl, putting as much pressure on as possible. After five laps of sitting behind him figuring out where I was strong and he was weak – and also pinpointing somewhere that I could pass without comprising my position – I made my move into the final hairpin, blocking Carl’s cutback and allowing myself the space to pull away.

The final race of the weekend was a difficult one. Starting off P4 on the reverse grid, I was confident that we could possibly go for another win as the car was set up well, and I’d also managed to save my tyres from the previous race. With Tom and Carl starting ahead of me, though, it was never going to be easy – and Tom played the defensive card and backed up not only Carl and myself but also Josh Wakefield and Hunter Abbott. I tried my utmost to find a way past but there was just no opportunity. In the end, P3 was still good; it would obviously have been nice to get second or even another win, but nevertheless, it was a great weekend.

I then spent last weekend down at Goodwood for the Festival of Speed, being interviewed for Ginetta on the Michelin stand. It was the first time I had been and I loved it – there was such a great atmosphere and a real buzz for the whole weekend!

We now have our mid-season break, so it’s going to be a matter of upping the training. If this rain ever stops, I'm sure I'll get out on the mountain bike somewhere and we'll maybe go for a test day to try out some things on the car, but we will wait and see.

Don’t forget, you can keep up-to-date with everything I’m up to on Twitter @TomIngram80 and at my website:

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