Tom Ingram has taken victory in the first race of the day for the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone’s National Circuit. The Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis driver took the lead from the front-row on the run to turn one and then negotiated tricky wet conditions en-route to claiming his fourth victory of the season.
Ingram may have taken the lead at the start, but it was far from over for the pole-sitter Jack Goff. The Eurotech Racing driver was determined to make up for losing the lead and was stuck right on the back of Ingram for much of the early stages of the race. His best chance came when the rain started to fall. Ingram was the first through the tricky conditions on lap six and he duly slipped way wide into the run-off area at Copse. Goff wasn’t quite close enough to capitalize, however, with Ingram keeping his momentum and therefore his lead on the run to turn two. In the closing stages of the race, Ingram began to drop Goff and extend a small advantage. His gap was brought back in, however, by a late safety car for a massive shunt in the mid-pack.
Rob Collard was side-by-side with both Aron Taylor-Smith and Chris Smiley on the run out of turn one, but the pair to the left of him made contact that sent them into the side of Collard. The contact appeared to break the suspension of Collard’s BMW, sending him spearing across the infield and into the path of the cars coming onto the Wellington straight. Will Burns and Andrew Jordan were the unfortunate ones in the wrong place at the wrong time, with massive contact between Collard and Burns; with Jordan clipping Burns in the process.
Collard was out of the car after a few minutes of re-composure, but he was clearly shaken and bruised by the impact. Burns’ Team HARD Volkswagen Passat drove off of the race track immediately and was out of the way, but it was evident soon after that Will required some assistance.
The race had been scheduled to restart at the end of lap nineteen, but as soon as the safety car came in and Ingram began to get back up to race pace, the red flag was deployed and the race ended; most likely due to race control being informed about Burns’ developing medical needs. It was announced shortly after that both Burns and Collard largely okay but were being taken to hospital for further checks; as per procedure.
Behind all the carnage, Tom Ingram would be declared the race winner of round twenty-five of the 2017 British Touring Car Championship; with Jack Goff and Adam Morgan maintaining their positions that they held at the end of lap one to complete the podium.
Fourth and fifth would go the way of the two leading championship protagonists. Colin Turkington and Ashley Sutton seemed inseparable for much of the race having started in eighth and tenth respectively. The pair were caught up in battles with other drivers, but every time Turkington made a move, Sutton would force his Subaru to follow soon after. The late red flag denied us the chance to see the pair go wheel-to-wheel themselves, but race two could be a different story.
Ant Whorton-Eales bettered his superb qualifying position of seventh to finish sixth in the AmD Tuning Audi, with the rookie managing to keep out of trouble all race. Dave Newsham used his well-known wet weather prowess to take his BTC Norlin Racing Chevrolet Cruze from fifteenth all the way to seventh; a superb effort by the Scottish driver in the slippery conditions. His fellow country-man Aiden Moffat was also on a charge in the Laser Tools Racing Mercedes as he powered through from twenty-third to eighth.
Completing the top ten was Rob Austin‘s Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis and Michael Epps‘ TAG Racing Passat. It was a lackluster race for Halfords Yuasa Racing, with both Gordon Sheddan and Matt Neal outside the top ten in eleventh and thirteenth. Neal was involved in an incident with Mat Jackson‘s Motorbase Ford that saw Jackson spinning to the back of the pack out of turn one.
Further back, Rob Huff took sixteenth on his return to the championship in the place of Tom Chilton in the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Corsa. Jason Plato fell throughout the race from eleventh on the grid to finish twenty-third and Jake Hill would be the first retirement despite a strong opening lap from fifth on the grid after a power-steering failure.
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