Tom Ingram has claimed a maiden victory in the Hyundai i30 N Fastback and for EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars.com as a team in only his second weekend in a new car after his long partnership with Speedworks Motorsport came to an end to begin the 2021 BTCC season.
Ingram takes a second, fourth and a win from the weekend at Snetterton and sits second in the Drivers’ Standings leaving the Norfolk circuit after finishing ahead of Ash Sutton – who despite carrying full success ballast still surged into the podium spots and the lead in the championship.
Finalising the podium was Gordon Shedden who battled with the reigning champion throughout the race but couldn’t seal a move which could have seen a tussle between Ingram and the multiple champion.
It was Josh Cook and Stephen Jelley – the pole sitter to begin the race who round out the top five and Ingram adds to victories over the course of the weekend for fellow title rivals in Sutton and Colin Turkington. The battle moves to Brands Hatch and it is hotting up already after Rounds Four, Five and Six.
Off the line, Jelley got a good start to lead the pack with Oliphant tracking him. Butcher didn’t get a great start though from third with Jackson in fourth and the Corolla down to fifth.
On Lap 1, Boardley spun off track but no safety car was needed. It was nervy though for Jelley to begin Lap Two as he had to defend from Oliphant after he broke late on the first corner but pulled back into the lead.
But there was big dramas as Oliphant went off track after an incident with Ollie Jackson and this sent him down the order with Ingram behind him in second. S
Sutton though was in third though albeit with the full quota of success ballast as he aimed to take advantage of any mistake from Jelley who wasn’t speeding away from the pack allowing Butcher, Turkington and Shedden to join the pack with the latter in particular picking off places.
For Shedden, he took fifth place from the 66kg Turkington and he started to look ominous as he next had his brother in law, Butcher in his sights in fourth. Cook without weight and on the soft tyres had the fastest lap and was in 7th as he looked for some solace from a poor weekend.
Ingram though to begin Lap Five suddenly took the lead from Jelley and Shedden was looking to pounce alongside Butcher as they aimed to get past Sutton into third but he made the Infiniti Q50 super wide and held him off.
This played into the hands of Ingram who was getting up the road and away from Jelley and the chasing pack. Sutton stayed tagged to the back of Jelley with Shedden still unable to get past the defending champion.
The former got into second past Jelley on Turn One on Lap 9/12 and Shedden wasn’t able to surge through initially and gave Jelley a tap as a result but took the place as he renewed his battle with Sutton albeit with both on the podium. This also saw Cook gain the place of Jelley who went down into fifth.
With the final lap started, Ingram surged towards the chequered flag and EXCELR8’s first win while Sutton was still dealing with Shedden successfully in second and third which is how it finished with Cook and Jelley completing the top five.
Results to follow.