Well, what can I say? We’ve done it! Two years of hard work have paid off.
After a mint weekend at Rockingham, I was so pumped-up heading to Silverstone, and although last year it had been our worst meeting of the season, we certainly turned that around!
At the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup media day at Silverstone back at the beginning of this year, we had tried loads of things out and managed to get the car dialled-in really well, so we knew we had a good base set-up – and Friday practice confirmed that. Lapping second-quickest in FP1 and fastest in FP2 placed me at the top of the end-of-day timesheets, which wasn’t bad at all considering we had spent all of it on old tyres whilst most of the other drivers went for new.
That left us full of confidence going into qualifying on Saturday, as we knew we only needed to bolt new boots on and we’d be there. And that’s exactly what we did, securing pole position by a mere two-hundredths-of-a-second, but crucially requiring only two ‘flying’ laps to do so. Indeed, it was a JHR Developments lock-out, with my team-mates Pepe Massot and Rob Boston right behind me in second and third respectively. That meant I had some rear-gunners, and I knew neither would do anything too risky.
In race one, I simply had to finish eighth or better to wrap up the championship, although starting from pole, I only really had one goal – to win! I got a great launch and managed to hold the lead into Copse Corner for the first time. After that, I focussed on trying to put as many consistent laps together as I could to extend my margin over Pepe, and when I began the final lap with a nice healthy advantage of 2.8 seconds, I was suddenly struck by the realisation of what was about to happen.
As I came across the finish line to clinch the title, a burst of emotion swept over me and I cried like a baby – and when I subsequently arrived at the podium and saw everyone with banners, T-shirts, cameras, pit boards and all sorts, that set me off all over again! Seeing so many people over-the-moon for me and the joy on everyone’s faces that JHR and I had won it was just amazing. Even writing this now, I still have the biggest smile on my face!
Saturday evening was one of the most awesome moments of my life – I wish it could have lasted forever, as I celebrated with my best friends. It was also amazing to have Jason Plato celebrating with us. He has played such a massive part in my career over the past couple of seasons with the KX Akademy, and if you had said to me ten years ago when I was waiting for his autograph at Silverstone, that one day I’d win a championship and have him with me up on the podium, I’d never have believed it!
Sunday was very much a repeat of race one – although the outcome resulted in fewer tears! It was a great way to conclude another perfect weekend. Better yet, it leaves me with 11 wins from the year, equalling Tom Sharp’s record from last season – but I want to make that record my own, and with the final round at Brands Hatch GP still to run, I’m going to be trying harder than ever to claim it!
A massive ‘thank you’ as ever to all the guys at JHR and my sponsors KX, SKYCIG and Hansford Sensors – and to all of you for checking out my blog and for the huge number of lovely messages I’ve received. I do read them all, although with the sheer amount of them, it could take me until Christmas!
Don’t forget, if you’re not already doing so, you can follow everything that’s happening with me on Twitter @TomIngram80 and at my website www.tom-ingram.com.
Hope to see loads of you at Brands Hatch – maybe even for a pint up at the Kentagon on Sunday night!