Tom Ingram claimed a maiden event win in the new Toyota Corolla last time out at Donington Park and goes into Thruxton this weekend full of confidence buoyed even more by some good pace shown in the pre-event test at the circuit.
Ingram spoke ahead of the weekend, firstly about the encouraging test which saw the team work through a lot of preparation. With the car still very much new, the team are building up their data and getting a good lap time was important to give the Bucks-born ace confidence going into the race weekend.
“Thruxton is a unique circuit – there’s nowhere else like it in the country. Going there for the test with a new car was a bit of a step into the unknown, but it went very well, which was encouraging.
“We were able to work through everything on our list – most of all, it was about trying to get a proper handle on the Corolla through the high-speed sections, which is the key to a good lap time there and I think we’re in a good place.
“With the BTCC going to Thruxton twice this year, it’s even more important to get to grips with everything quickly because there are double the points on offer, but we left feeling quietly confident and will return in the same mindset.
“Thruxton’s high-speed nature and succession of quick corners results in high tyre degradation, and the slower sections towards the start and end of the lap make it tricky to strike the optimum set-up, but there’s no question that it’s an incredible challenge from a driver’s perspective.
“You always tighten your belts a bit before you get to Noble, Goodwood and Church, which are three of the fastest corners in British motorsport. You’re properly hanging on through there – real edge-of-the-seat stuff.
In terms of targets for this weekend, the Speedworks Motorsport driver wants to claim three good points scoring finishes and isn’t aiming too high. He sees him not carrying a lot of ballast as good especially in the early going.
The team see the car getting stronger so he is not getting carried away despite the Corolla showing promise in the opening two weekends of BTCC action.
“I’m feeling excited, and the target for the weekend has to be three good, solid points-scoring finishes. We’re close to the top of the table points-wise but not carrying too much ballast, which is a nice position to be in – we’ve learned over the past couple of seasons that leading the championship at this stage can make your life very difficult in qualifying and race one.
“We still have a lot of development to come with the Corolla, and as we have always said, we expect to be much stronger over the second half of the year. To win so early on was really a bonus, but we’re not getting carried away as we are well aware that there remains a big challenge ahead.”