After topping the second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship practice session of the weekend at Thruxton, Tom Ingram expects to see the lap record broken in qualifying for the third meeting of the season.
Ingram set the quickest time of the afternoon in second practice with a 1m16.542s effort, the Speedworks Motorsport driver bouncing back after suffering two punctures in first practice.
“So far so good”, Ingram told The Checkered Flag after an encouraging start to the afternoon. “We started FP2 with a qualifying simulation and then it kind of moved into a race set-up.
“We managed to get quite a lot done. The car felt good, but the lap time was still not quite up to what we’ll be seeing in qualifying so it’ll be interesting to see who’s shown their hand a bit too early.”
Ingram’s time bettered that of 2013 champion Andrew Jordan, set in first practice, the latter currently holding the lap record at the Hampshire circuit.
That time of 1m16.192s – set by Jordan in 2014 – is one that Ingram thinks could be bettered in 2016, the Toyota man saying that many drivers are yet to show their true pace.
“We’ll see if we can break this lap record”, Ingram said. “I think it will go. We’ve seen at Brands and Donington so far in testing that the pace has massively increased from qualifying. I’d like to think that I’ve got a good chance of going and getting it. The race record is going to be interesting as well.”
The weekend started in a truncated manner for the Toyota Avensis driver, as he was victim to a brace of punctures in Saturday’s opening 40-minute practice session.
Tyre life is a key factor for teams to consider at Thruxton due to its abrasive nature, something the Ingram says can make or break a driver’s weekend.
“We’ve all been told how to look after these tyres; pressures, cambers and everything like that, but the hard part is that it’s Thruxton. Nobody really knows what they’re going to do until we’ve started.”
Hopeful of a consistent weekend more than anything, Ingram said: “We’ve got to focus on a good race one and two, then we’ll just see what we can do for race three.