Tom Ingram bounced back from a disappointing qualifying session to secure a dominant victory during a rollercoaster opening weekend of the 2013 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Brands Hatch.
Heading into the season as an early championship favourite after a great campaign last season, Ingram hoped to kick his season off in style at a bitterly cold Brands, though it didn’t start in the best of fashions.
After a driveshaft failure during Friday practice, minor set-up changes in qualifying backfired, leaving the KX Akademy star seventh on the grid in his JHR Developments-prepared Ginetta G55.
A strong fifth in Saturday’s opening race was followed by a chaotic race two a couple of hours later. With snow falling just before the race, the 19 year old took the gamble to run on slick tyres hoping the track would dry, with all his rivals on wets.
Running around seven seconds a lap slower initially, the decision really started to work in Ingram’s favour as the race headed towards its conclusion. Sycthing his way through the field from the back, Ingram put on an exhibition in overtaking as he reached fourth at the finish in what he described as “the most enjoyable race I’ve ever driven”, with victory almost certainly guaranteed if the race was a lap or two longer.
The result earned Ingram pole position on the reverse grid for the final race the following day and it was an opportunity the double Ginetta champion didn’t pass up, leading from lights to flag to take his seventh career win in the G55’s.
“It was fantastic to win the last race,” Ingram enthused. “That was the one that really mattered, as it was televised live on ITV4 and as such represented excellent exposure for my sponsors SKYCIG, KX and Hansford Sensors. Overall, it was an extremely positive weekend.
“It was good to see that our pace in testing was genuine – I don’t think we left anyone in any doubt that we’ve got the speed – and our consistency was encouraging as well. Given the situation we found ourselves in on Saturday morning, second in the championship is far from a bad place to be right now, and there’s a long way to go yet. Bring on round two!”