A strong last round at Brands for Tom and the Speedworks team
A breakthrough season to be proud of for both driver and team
04 October 2016 08:58:09

The second visit to Brands Hatch and the final round of the season saw Tom finish in the overall standings in the top 10 and the Speedworks Motorsport Team 3rd in the Independents trophy.

Returning to the scene of the second podium finish of his fledgling BTCC career the previous year, the talented young Bucks ace was immediately in the ballpark in distinctly inclement conditions in free practice and vaulted to the top of the timesheets in qualifying before the action was halted for an accident.

The heavens opened during the pause, ostensibly confirming the #80 Toyota Avensis at the summit of the order, but as the minutes ticked down, so the track increasingly dried out and the lap times began to tumble. When he rejoined the fray, Ingram had been demoted to 13th but he immediately responded, and only traffic scuppered his efforts to snare a third pole position of the campaign.

Missing out by a scant six thousandths-of-a-second, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star was poised to line up in P2 – his fifth front row slot from ten attempts in 2016, an impressive 50 per cent strike rate and cementing his status as comfortably the BTCC’s best average qualifier – until a ride-height test failure relegated him to the very back of the grid for race one amongst the 31 high-calibre contenders, indisputably some of the finest touring car exponents on the planet.

From there, Ingram fairly scythed his way through the field on the less durable soft-compound rubber, gaining eight spots on the opening lap alone and stealing a couple of late positions to finish inside the points in 14th. He made further progress in race two in front of the live ITV4 television cameras, settling into a multi-car scrap over the runner-up spoils that called for attack and defence in equal measure and taking the chequered flag ninth.

Despite missing out on the reversed grid pole for race three, the 23-year-old was undeterred and overhauled multiple champions Colin Turkington and Jason Plato in swift succession, before relieving Josh Cook’s MG of sixth and rapidly zeroing in on the second-placed battle.

Lapping fastest on the track, the next target on his hit-list was title protagonist Sam Tordoff, but with the clock counting down and not wanting to risk unfairly influencing the championship outcome, he maturely settled for a twelfth top six finish of the season.

Read the rest of the report, and a few reflections of the season from the team here.

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