Tom Ingram took his eighth win of the 2013 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup season with a dominant win in an action-packed Round 21 at Rockingham.
The championship leader started the race from pole position and a great start saw him lead into Deene hairpin for the first time from JHR Developments team-mate Rob Boston.
Behind the front two, a stunning start from Matt Nicoll-Jones saw him storm around the outside from eighth on the grid into third, the Academy Motorsport driver just managing to avoid the chaos that ensued behind.
Third placed starter Andrew Watson span at the exit of Deene right into the path of the oncoming field, with Pepe Massot the first to collect him, with Jamie Orton and Carl Breeze amongst those to receive contact in the pack behind. While the incident resulted in retirements for Watson and Massot, Orton and Breeze were able to continue after a trip through the pits.
With the pack on the inside of the corner having been slowed up by the stricken Watson, a number of drivers on the outside line benefitted to storm up the field. Sean Huyton and Fergus Walkinshaw were the main beneficiaries, moving up to fourth and fifth from 13th and 12th on the grid respectively.
Huyton and Walkinshaw’s joy were short-lived however, as after a short safety car spell, the duo came to blows at Deene on lap six. Contact spun Huyton round, with both drivers dropping to the back of the field.
At the front of the field meanwhile, Ingram was having no such drama. The KX Akademy protégé held a comfortable lead throughout and went on to take the victory by 5.5s, with Boston following him home to match his best result of the season so far, Nicoll-Jones completing the podium.
“It’s not been a bad day,” Ingram told thecheckeredflag.co.uk. “We’ve done exactly what we’ve needed to do so far this weekend. The whole plan coming into the meeting was to try and score maximum points, a repeat performance of Croft. So far, so good.”
“I got a good start off the line and there was a big gap on the outside, so I thought I’d have that,” added Nicoll-Jones. “From there I just had to try and maintain it, I knew I wouldn’t be able to have a pop at Rob so I backed the pace off, did my own thing and saved the tyres.”
Mark Davies benefitted from the various incidents ahead to take fourth at the flag, with Reece Somerfield taking his second top-five finish of the campaign behind. Marcus Hoggarth took a seasons-best sixth, while Tom Oliphant battled back to finish seventh on his series debut, the single-seater convert having dropped back from fifth to twelfth in the opening lap chaos.
Breeze fought his way through to take eighth after his pitstop, with Fergus Walkinshaw and Dan Norris-Jones completing the top ten ahead of Carl Boardley and Huyton. Will Burns, the sole runner in the G50 category, completed the finishers in thirteenth.
Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/toca/2013/133703g50.pdf