Ingram leads championship after BTCC opener

Credit: BTCC Media

Speedworks’ Tom Ingram leads the 2018 British Touring Car Championship after the first round of the season at Brands Hatch.

Ingram claimed his first win of the season a storming drive from eleventh on the grid in the reverse grid race at the end of the weekend. Added to his fourth place from race one and eleventh in race two, Ingram leaves Brands Hatch three points ahead of Jack Goff, who claimed a lights to flag victory in race one.

“There was a lot of pressure on us coming into this weekend, with people expecting us to qualify on pole and win the first race, but we had a bit of an uphill battle,” said Ingram.

“We genuinely struggled with pace in free practice and qualifying; the car didn’t feel fantastic but my engineer Spencer and Christian [Dick, Team Principal] did one hell of a job to give me one hell of a race car today, and it was really enjoyable out there.”

Race two provided the most thrilling action from the weekend as a drying circuit led to three drivers taking the first BTCC podiums of their careers.

The race started in wet conditions and most of the front runners opted for the blue-walled wet weather tyre. But the rain came to a stop early in the race and, as the track dried, those at the front began to lose their advantage.

Senna Proctor was one of a number of drivers starting towards the back of the field who had gambled with slick tyres. The Jack Sears’ Trophy winner jumped from twenty sixth to second in just eight laps, running behind the Mercedes of Aiden Moffat, who had also opted slicks.

Proctor moved into the race lead on the penultimate lap as the leaders passed backmarkers, while Moffat dropped down to fifth. Jake Hill chased him to the chequered flag but the Power Maxed Racing driver managed to take the win by half a second.

“I went round on the green flag lap and said to my engineer ‘there are a few dry patches forming’, so he replied ‘let’s put slicks on then’,” Proctor explained. “I said ‘we’re not going to win the race on wets but we just might on slicks, so let’s give it a go’ – and look what we’ve done.

“When Aiden went a bit wide on the brakes at Druids, I was able to seize the opportunity. I’m still waiting to wake up from this dream – it’s amazing.”

Despite the victory, Proctor leaves Brands Hatch seventh in the championship after finishing outside the points in race one and fifteenth in race two.

Adam Morgan, who finished second in race three, heads to round two third in the points, ahead of Rob Austin and reigning champion Ashley Sutton.

Honda rookie Dan Cammish leads the Jack Sears Trophy standings. Cammish, who set the fastest time during qualifying, missed out on pole position due to a technical infringement that led to most of his times being wiped. He qualified fourth, but dropped down to eighth in race one. The Carrera Cup champion finished outside the points in race two but climbed up to eleventh in the final race of the weekend.

Eurotech leads the teams’ championship by a single point to Speedworks Motorsport.