Ingram snatches final lap win and BTCC Drivers’ Championship lead at Brands Hatch Indy

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Jakob Ebrey Photography
Tom Ingram (GBR) - Excelr8 Trade Price Cars Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance

Tom Ingram has claimed his second win of the 2021 BTCC season for the Ginsters EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars stable after snatching it from Tom Oliphant on the last lap who nearly made it back-to-back wins at Brands Hatch Indy.

Ingram now leads the BTCC Drivers’ Championship but could yet find himself in front of the stewards with questions asked on the move to pass Oliphant on the last lap and with Ash Sutton finishing second on a drag to the line, he would inherit the race win if a penalty occurred.

Dan Rowbottom, Josh Cook, Dan Lloyd, Chris Smiley, Jason Plato, Aiden Moffat and Senna Proctor finalised the top ten in a lively race with the top eight together for most of the race queuing behind Oliphant’s 75kg with full ballast.

Off the line, Oliphant made a superb start with Rowbottom and Sutton the top three. Shedden spun on the opening lap and more carnage ensued as Sutton went round the outside of Ingram but could only just hold it on the track and Hill and Ingram benefitted.

But to begin Lap Two, Shedden was yet again in strife with Jelley going off into the tire barrier and the Halfords Racing with Cataclean driver limping away while a safety car was called meaning Oliphant’s near two second advantage was eroded.

Oliphant surged away from the safety car with Rowbottom and Ingram chasing him going into paddock. He was not getting away with the aforementioned duo on his toes.

Ingram fought with Rowbottom further back which was looking to hand Oliphant a slim advantage. Jake Hill further back looked to take the place of Ingram as Rowbottom looked ahead to Oliphant with the Halfords Racing with Cataclean driver looking more likely to take the lead.

Hill looked to pounce on Rowbottom being stuck behind Oliphant by joining the leading pack. This allowed Ingram, Sutton and Cook to join the train.

The lead gap was half a second as Oliphant despite being on full ballast was gaining due to those squabbling behind. Further down, a queue of cars including Senna Proctor, Jack Goff, Rory Butcher and Adam Morgan sat behind Aidan Moffat with the reverse grid of course on the line.

Up front on Lap 16/27, Oliphant still sat resilient despite Rowbottom pressuring but Hill went off the road at Clearways from third place with a puncture allowing Ingram into third.

Rowbottom could focus on the race lead as he aimed to get away from Ingram but Ingram went through into second after Rowbottom tried to get the race lead to no avail going onto the grass.

With eight laps to go, Ingram was the next to try to get the race lead with Sutton, Cook and Lloyd ready to pounce behind Oliphant, Ingram and Rowbottom in case of any mistakes.

Ingram though was running out of laps as Oliphant withstood pressure further. Rowbottom was catching once again with the queue following once more.

Sutton went through into third place as the championship leader gained more points and aimed to join the top two going into the final lap.

Oliphant and Ingram had contact and the latter claimed the lead with some questions to be asked on whether it was a push to pass. Sutton came up to have a go into second and dragged Oliphant to the line for second.

On the reverse grid draw taking place post race, Adam Morgan inherited pole position from 12th with Goff, Proctor, Moffat, Plato, Smiley and Lloyd joining him in the shuffled order.

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Head British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) writer for The Checkered Flag - passionate about Motorsport from a young age, also writes predominately about Darts, Tennis and Basketball for other publications full time.
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